Niall Hampton

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New models and fresh thinking mark out the 2017-season Bürstner motorhomes, as the City Car comes to the UK and the firm focuses on its mainstream output

Bürstner enjoyed another good year in the UK in 2016, with its Sovereign special editions proving particularly popular. A manufacturer of van conversions, coachbuilts and A-class motorhomes, Bürstner is based at Kehl in south-western Germany and has been part of the Hymer Group since 1998. With a strong focus on export markets, Bürstner is adept at servicing the needs of British buyers that covet German design flair and build quality.

Bürstner prides itself on innovation and pioneered the development of the drop-down bed, something which no self-respecting Continentally produced motorhome would go without. In a similar vein, the Ixeo 690 G was a key new launch for the brand last year: this mid-profile coachbuilt – later joined by two other models – carried a longitudinal drop-down bed seamlessly integrated into the roof, over a large, sociable lounge. They literally couldn't build them quick enough...

What's changed

The big news for 2017 is the introduction of two new ranges. First up, the City Car van conversions line-up, launched in Europe last year, will be coming to the UK. Built at Laika's new factory in Italy, four models will be available. In the coachbuilt segment, the new Lyseo range takes a bow. Initially available in low-profile form, eight floorplans will feature.

And to mark 30 years of motorhome production, Bürstner has launched a special Edition 30 for its best-selling models, which are packed full of desirable goodies.

Elsewhere, a reorganisation of the Bürstner portfolio – designed to make the brand’s offering easier to understand for buyers, dealers and the media – sees several additions and deletions as the company focuses more on its core mainstream output.

The headlines

Starting with City Car, three new models will join the existing C 600. The compact C 540 has a transverse rear bed on a 5.4m body length, while the C 602 and C 640 both feature longitudinal double beds, on 5.99m and 6.36m body lengths respectively. All City Car models feature multi-function washrooms, on the nearside, opposite the kitchen, with half dinettes up front. Kitchens feature six large soft-closing drawers, with 80- or 90-litre fridge capacities, depending on the model. Storage space can be maximised across the City Car range by folding up the separated slatted bed frames. City Cars are based on Fiat Ducato panel vans with sliding doors on the UK offside. Engines are the latest Euro 6-compliant 2.3-litre turbodiesel units.

The new Lyseo low-profiles launch with eight floorplans, covering many popular layouts, with body lengths ranging from 5.99m to 7.49m. All models have functional double floors on one level, and six can be specified with drop-down beds. The T 586 and T 590 opt for drop-down beds above the front lounges. Island bed models include the T 700 and T 734, fixed twin single beds equip the T 690 G and T 728 G, and transverse beds feature in the T 710 G and T 744. This latter model is perhaps the most distinctive one, though, sporting a UK-friendly rear lounge overlooked by a transverse drop-down double bed. Further forward, you’ll find the familiar Continental L-shaped kitchen and half-dinette, all on a 7.49m-long body. 

All Lyseo ’vans are based on the Fiat Ducato, and will be offered with three options packs, covering ‘light’, ‘kitchen’ and ‘sound’. 

The successful – and award-winning – debut of the Ixeo last year sees another clever model join the range. The IT 640 is 6.49m long and continues with the longitudinal drop-down double bed over the lounge. What’s different is the provision of two centrally located travel seats, which, with the parallel lounge benches and rotated cab seats, form a square lounge. This means the bed can be accessed from both sides, instead of just one. The kitchen is located behind the travel seats, ahead of a nearside corner washroom. 

Further up the ranges, flagship Elegance gets two new floorplans – the fixed twin-single-beds I 910 G and island bed I 920 G – plus detail improvements including integrated lighting for drop-down beds. 

The new Edition 30 offers eight popular models taken from the Travel Van, Nexxo Time, Ixeo Time and Viseo ranges. There’s a distinctive look inside and out, with little lacking from the spec lists, which include Fiat’s chassis and interior packs. Look out for desirable extras including 16in alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, wide habitation doors, concertina cab blinds, Truma Combi 6 heating, a Pioneer multimedia system, sat-nav and a wind-out canopy awning. 

Seven models have fixed beds: Travel Van T 620 G Edition 30 (fixed twin single beds, 6.99m); Nexxo Time T 569 Edition 30 (French bed, 5.89m); Nexxo Time T 660 Edition 30 (French bed, 6.79m); Nexxo Time T 690 G Edition 30 (fixed twin single beds, 5.89m); Ixeo Time 710 G Edition 30 (transverse rear bed, 6.99m); Ixeo Time T 726 G Edition 30 (fixed twin single beds, 7.14m); Viseo I 690 G Edition 30 (fixed twin single beds, 6.96m). The Ixeo Time IT 590 Edition 30 has a drop-down bed above the lounge, with a nearside kitchen and an end washroom, on a 5.99m body length. 

Given that Bürstner's Sovereign editions have been wildly successful in the UK over the past two seasons, it seems unlikely that the Edition 30 will be any less popular.

In other news

The reshuffle of Bürstner's portfolio has reduced the overall amount of models available in the UK by two, compared with 2016, and has given the offering more of a mainstream focus. Models making way are the Brevio T 640 and T 645, and Nexxo T 660 and T 745.

All Bürstner’s 2017 models are based on the Fiat Ducato with 2.3-litre engines that meet the new Euro 6 emissions standard. Fiat's ComfortMatic robotised gearbox continues to be offered as a cost option.

A change of senior management has seen the arrival of Jens Kromer as managing director. His first year in charge has resulted in a new and revised line-up while on a visual note, the Bürstner brand will go forwards with a shiny new corporate logo. 

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