Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on November 3, 2008
I’ve always wanted a Volkswagen bus. Long before I was able to drive, I had a fantasy of living down-and-out in a VW camper, aimlessly meandering it along isolated roads far from civilization and parking it along the beach or deep in the woods in order to catch some sleep and gather supplies.
My fantasy never came true and it never will. Turns out I’m not a down-and-out sort; my idea of roughing it is downgrading to a three-star hotel. But luckily for me, there’s nothing rough about the new Volkswagen Westfalia Verdier Solar Powered Mobile Micro Home.
Micro Homes are the way of the future. At least that’s what the design team at Verdier Solar Power thinks, as well as the Jury at Germany’s Caravan Salon Dusseldorf, who awarded the company a Special Design Award for their inspired VW redesign.
The coming together of the Westfalia, long a symbol of the hippy culture, and the green energy technology of Verdier takes the camper experience and turns it on its head, transforming the simple VW bus into a modern, self-sufficient driving/living machine with a smooth design and the coolest features this side of a high-end fifth wheel. Verdier set out to enhance the “light recreational vehicle” and make the Westfalia traveling experience more luxurious and autonomous. And the result is one of the tightest designs I’ve seen.
Westfalia Hybrid Bio Diesel Vehicle / Micro home Video
These tricked-out vans are equipped with intelligent solar panels guided by a GPS system for maximum sun exposure and a pneumatic suspension that provides improved stabilization and comfort by actually lowering the vehicle to the ground for stationary use. And there’s a second story (or “second staging area”, as they call it), which is easily accessible from the outside by the sliding half-door on the passenger side that pulls up into a ladder, or by the inside via the passenger seat, which, like a transformer toy, mechanically converts itself into a set of stairs. There’s also a swivel cooking range that allows you to cook inside or out.
And what would a modern home be without a multi-media computer with WiFi?
Designer Alexandre Verdier has long had a fascination with VW caravans. Armed with degrees in philosophy and Industrial Design, he traveled across Europe and the United States in VWs, redesigning the vehicle in his mind and writing not one but two handbooks on the perfect camper.
At prices ranging from $26,000 to $69,000, the Westfalia Verdier Solar Powered Mobile Micro Home is not for the hippy-at-heart. And it’s not the experience you’ve come to expect from the Volkswagen camper.
It’s way cooler.
For more information and a list of awards won by Verdier, check out their site.