Niall Hampton

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Marking its 50th anniversary, Adria revealed its 2016 plans and wandered down memory lane, reports Practical Motorhome's Editor Niall Hampton from Slovenia

As golden jubilees go, this was pretty impressive. Seven hundred guests from 30 countries across the world came to enjoy a champagne reception, sumptuous four-course meal, speeches from a succession of various dignitaries and some decidedly rarefied entertainment. 

But this wasn’t a celebration to mark a monarch’s reign; it was a birthday bash and gala dinner for one of Europe’s leading leisure vehicle producers, which has certainly sold a few units since being formed in 1965. 

Adria knows a thing or two about manufacturing motorhomes and caravans. It also knows how to make them appeal across the globe. From its base in Slovenia, the company exports to markets right across the world, from Scandinavia down to Australia and into new territories like China, Japan and Russia. Not bad for a firm that sells just 200 of its own products a year in its own country. 

This export-driven agenda has been a key part of Adria’s strategy since 1965, when the Adria 375 caravan was introduced. The prototype was successfully exhibited at the caravan fair in Stockholm, so building for foreign markets was a practice established right from the company’s earliest days. 

Motorhomes followed in the early 1980s, with the Renault-based Adriatik, and went on to account for over half of Adria’s sales in the 1980s. Panel van conversions and campervans followed in 1997, with the iconic Coral range of coachbuilts launching in 1999. 

Today, Adria is a market leader in France, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands, and a top-five fixture in the league tables of motorhome producers in Norway, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. It’s number seven in Germany and is one of the biggest import brands in the UK. 

Adria is marking its half-century by releasing the Silver Collection – a range of limited edition versions of the brand’s best-selling models and layouts. Exteriors are finished in silver, while the interiors sport a raft of added-value features for no extra cost. During our recent visit to the 50th anniversary celebrations in Slovenia, we saw three Silver Collection models (two Matrix and one Twin), and they look very sharp. 

The Matrix gets a new rear wall with built-in horizontal lights, new ‘Adria 50 Years’ graphics and an integrated step under the habitation doors. The front grille has a glossy black frame, black bezels and headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights.

Interiors have the familiar L-shaped dinette and V-shaped kitchen with integrated LED lights, as well as a 150-litre refrigerator and a kitchen window lined with integrated LED lights. 

Cupboards get a special door design and the cabin seats feature woven-in ‘Adria 50 Years’ logos. The Adria 50 Year Pack offers a selection of Adria and Fiat options as standard equipment. Layouts will vary from market to market; we expect the UK models to be confirmed in July. 

The popular Twin panel van conversion range will also get Silver Collection models. The feature set will be the same as Matrix, including the same design and specification tweaks and Adria and Fiat options as standard. 

After the obligatory tour of Adria’s impressive 147,735 sq m factory at Novo Mesto (up to 24 motorhomes and eight van conversions roll off the production line each day), Practical Motorhome and the assembled international press corps got a sneak preview of Adria’s 2016 motorhome line-up. Two completely new ranges will be unveiled: the low-profile Compact and the overcab coachbuilt Coral XL. Both look impressive, with Adria’s typically high quality design and build. 

The two Compact models to launch this summer will break the tape at 2.12m wide and come in at under six metres in length. Three models will debut in the Coral XL range, which has been designed for large families or groups, and rental fleets. Alongside a spacious overcab double, large garages also feature, and on the model we saw, a double dinette. 

Elsewhere, Comprex body construction and new rear walls with horizontal LED lights are rolled out across the coachbuilt motorhome portfolio, and there are spec and styling tweaks to the popular Coral line-up. There are also improvements to the popular Twin range of panel van conversions. 

During our visit, Adria assembled a pop-up Open Air Museum, a selection of milestones in its production of motorhomes and caravans. We got to view the overcab Adriatik 390, the third-ever Adria motorhome prototype, alongside the company’s first-ever van conversion, the Adria Van, plus an early Coral, from 2000. All the ’vans were in excellent condition, a testament to the manufacturer’s fabled build quality. 

Adria’s 2016 UK model preview takes place in July. You can read a full report on the new models here on Practical Motorhome. 

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