Bürstner is part of the Hymer Group and is based in Kehl, south-west Germany. It manufactures mainstream motorhome ranges that are popular in the UK and celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2013. 

What’s changed 

The 2016 Bürstner motorhomes portfolio sees a fair amount of change. Entry level range Brevio is expanded, there are upgrades to the mid-market Ixeo Time, while it’s all change at the top of the portfolio – flagship range Grand Panorama is deleted, and Elegance moved slightly downmarket, in common with other top-end ranges, to make Bürstner’s A-class offering more affordable. The big story, though, is a new Ixeo range that completely reimagines the concept of the motorhome drop-down bed. 

The headlines

Brevio was launched in 2013, designed to tempt downsizers and those who wanted smaller motorhomes for exploring cities. Its big innovation was an opening rear tailgate, which transformed the rear lounge into a sociable space with a wide open aspect. 

Brevio was a joint development with Hymer, whose version was badged Compact. The ultimate tribute to its cleverness came last year, when Swift launched the Rio, another compact coachbuilt with an opening tailgate. 

For 2016, three new Brevio models are being released to complement the existing models. The t 601 is a new alternative to the t 600, featuring a slightly different twist on the transverse rear bed layout on the same body length. The t 640 is joined by the t 641, which dispenses with the twin single beds to instead offer a longitudinal drop-down bed over removable storage units. This has been designed for people who use their motorhomes for business purposes – the space in the rear is colossal. Finally, the t 646 serves up another interpretation of the 645, with a drop-down bed above the parallel seating in the rear lounge. 

Ixeo has received a bold rethink. A distinctive hump above the lounge and cab conceals the unique selling point of the range – a longitudinal drop-down lounge bed. This perches above a sizeable lounge that can happily seat six people. All good so far, but there’s more to it than that – the bed drops right down to seat height, so access can be effected without a ladder. Its moderate height will allow two adults to sleep on converted beds in the lounge beneath, making the ’van a proper four-berth. One model will be available at launch, the 7m-long it 680 G, and two others are to join the range in the autumn and winter. 

In the upper segment, the A-class Viseo receives a facelift and a new overhead locker design. There’s one new layout, the 6.82m i 670 G, with a transverse rear bed above a spacious garage.

Fellow A-class Aviano maintains the same three models as last year, but has been improved. The French market, with its need for a 7m-long, 3500kg motorhome with a meaningful payload, has driven the change. Tonic Sol décor makes an appearance in this range. 

With Grand Panorama axed due to low sales, Elegance becomes the flagship Bürstner line-up and grows by one model, to four in total. Interior headroom increases to 2.05m, and windscreens are 15cm higher. Construction is from XPS, there’s dedicated storage for skis and a service unit that groups all the electrical and plumbing infrastructure together; it’s big enough to hold a hook-up cable reel. Kitchens get Plexiglass coverings and wide soft-closing drawers, plus there’s the option of a Jehnert sound system. The Sport Line package adds the logo ‘Elegance’ in silver across the rear. Production of the Aviano has been outsourced to fellow Hymer Group manufacturer, LMC

In other news

The Sovereign special edition range is unique to the UK and was a real success in the 2015 season, adding 20% to Bürstner’s UK sales. Its model offering has been simplified for 2016: out goes the A-class segment and low-profiles fill the gap. Buyers can choose among four Ixeo and four Nexxo Time Sovereign models, catering for a wide range of floorplans and potential uses. 

Ixeo Time Sovereign models are the mid-lounge it 586 and it 590, rear twin single beds it 726 G and rear island bed it 745. Nexxo Sovereign models comprise the rear French bed t 660, twin single beds t 690 G, twin single beds/end-washroom t 720 and rear island bed t 740. 

Specification has been increased for these new season Bürstner motorhomes, to include upgraded Pioneer stereos with sat-nav and a colour reversing camera, 16in alloy wheels and scatter cushions. The best news is that Sovereign prices will stay the same as last season, so this boost in spec is effectively a free upgrade. 

All Bürstner models offered in Europe are available in the UK on right-hand drive chassis, apart from the ‘Summer’ special editions. Bürstner doesn’t build for stock, so any ’van you order from one of the 12 UK dealerships is made to order.

Practical Motorhome’s star ‘van – Bürstner Ixeo it 680 G

Trust us: this is one ’van worth queueing up to see at the October NEC show. A longitudinal drop-down lounge bed isn’t unique in the motorhome market (Bailey’s Approach Autograph 765 and Approach Advance 665 both have one), but Bürstner’s execution of it really ups the ante.

Designed to fit flush in the roof, the it 680 G’s drop-down bed is a thing of beauty and you can use the overhead lockers when the bed is up or down. A three-second lowering drops the bed to the higher of its two settings, allowing a bed to be used underneath. Fully deployed, the bed reaches lounge seat height, so access really is a breeze. There’s also the whopping midships lounge, a generous and well-equipped kitchen, plus an end washroom that leaves you wanting for nothing. The it 680 G is a tremendous achievement.