Niall Hampton
Editor

See other News articles filed in ‘Motorhome’ written by Niall Hampton
   
As well as launching new entry-level ’vans plus a host of upgrades, Knaus promised a yet-to-be-revealed, sector-defining model at its 2018 season preview

As he launched his company’s 2018 line-up, Knaus CEO Wolfgang Speck referenced its corporate logo: “One bird doesn’t herald the arrival of summer, but two birds means nice holidays.”

The leading German manufacturer – Germany’s biggest-selling single-badged motorhome brand – had a very successful 2017, with its whole production run selling out.

The UK played a part in that achievement, too, with the added-value Platinum Selection editions of its Sun Ti low-profile coachbuilts proving especially popular with British buyers.

For 2017, Knaus aims to continue with this winning formula, moving forward with many ranges unchanged.

The company also revealed major investment in its Jandelsbrunn, Bavaria, plant – boosting production capacity, increasing research and development, and expanding its expertise in lightweight construction techniques.

But it also unveiled some exciting new products in the sweltering heat of its launch event in June.

The headlines

The main story is the launch of a new entry-level collection of motorhomes under the L!VE moniker.

Three strands comprise the offer: Wave and Ti low-profile coachbuilts, plus Traveller overcab coachbuilts.

All models are based on the Fiat Ducato 3500kg chassis with an extra-wide rear track for improved handling and stability.

In addition to this, BoxDrive – a new VW camper van based on the latest version of the Crafter – goes on sale this autumn, following its debut at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf. We got to see a whizzy video of the BoxDrive at the launch, but sadly nothing in the metal.

The changes

L!VE Ti launches with three models. The two-berth 590 MF opts for a French bed, while the two-berth (three optional) 650 MEG and two-berth (four optional) 700 MEG both carry fixed twin single beds. L!VE Ti body widths are all 2.32m.

L!VE Wave comprises four models that feature the best-selling floorplans. The rear-transverse-bed 650 MG has four berths (six optional), and the fixed twin-single beds 700 MEG sleeps four (six optional).

The two other models – L!VE Wave 650 MX and 700 MX – both have island beds and are four-berths. L!VE Wave body widths are all 2.32m.

All L!VE Traveller ’vans have large overcab double beds, plus other sleeping spaces. The 550 DB is a four-berth with midships dinette and corner washroom.

The other two models are both six-berths: the rear-bunks 600 DKG and transverse-rear-bed 650 DG. All Knaus L!VE Traveller models are 2.34m wide, with an internal height of 2m.

With dark-toned cabinetwork, granite-effect worktops and white furniture facings, the L!VE Ti looks very sharp. The cream-coloured seating carries subtle piping that references the dark wood finish, and smart decorative blinds underscore L!VE’s Continental origins.

Exteriors are brilliant white with blue and grey detailing – not unlike Swift Group’s Escape, in fact. As is also the case with Cottingham’s finest export, Knaus has pulled off the trick of making an entry-level range look anything but.

Take a look at the brand’s other ranges, though, and it’s clear that Knaus has some pedigree when it comes to accomplished interior design.

L!VE Wave shares similar styling cues to L!VE Ti. The main difference between the two ranges is that L!VE Wave ’vans have an increased standing height of 2.15m (compared to 2m in L!VE Ti), to accommodate drop-down beds above the lounge.

For families – and for hire

With their overcab double beds, L!VE Traveller is pitched firmly towards family and rental fleet use. An optional equipment pack adds a CD/radio, a canopy awning, a bike rack, an information brochure and a set of stickers.

These are designed for renters or inexperienced users, and provide at-a-glance references for common functions of the ’vans, for example decoding what the icons on the control panel mean, and reminding users to close rooflights before travel.

Standard specification across L!VE Ti and L!VE Wave includes ESP with hill holder on the base vehicles, Olmo Pavarotti cabinetwork, a choice of three soft furnishings schemes (Energy, Matuko and Fine Square), three-burner cookers, combined external services compartments, Truma Combi space and water heating and 142-litre fridges.

In addition to a long list of cost-option extras, nine special equipment packs are available, covering the base vehicle, habitation upgrades and entertainment systems.

As standard, L!VE Traveller models include ESP with hill holder, Olmo Pavarotti cabinetwork, a choice of three soft furnishings schemes (Energy, Matuko and Fine Square), three-burner cookers, Truma Combi space and water heating and 145-litre (550 DB) or 108-litre (600 DKG and 650 DG) fridges.

In addition to a long list of optional extras, eight special equipment packs are available, covering the base vehicle, habitation upgrades and entertainment systems (although one, the L!VE Traveller pack, is not available for the 650 DG).

Pricing for 2018 Knaus motorhomes hasn’t been released yet, but at the launch we were assured that all L!VE models would stand out in the market thanks to a good combination of price and performance.

Sky Wave among the 2018-season updates

Elsewhere in the Knaus portfolio, Sky Wave gets a design refresh for 2018, with light-toned Nagano Oak cabinetwork teamed with a choice of Indian Summer, Blue Marine and Energy soft furnishings schemes.

Sun Ti Platinum Selection models now include steering wheel-mounted audio controls and the Pioneer Navigate Evo system, and Sun i and Sky i get new intuitive-to-use habitation control panels that can also be controlled via a smartphone or tablet app.

Several models don’t make the cut for 2018, though. The Van Ti 600 MG fixed-twin-single-bed three-berth and Sky Wave 700 MX island-bed six-berth are deleted.

The Sky Traveller range of overcab coachbuilts is discontinued, but the transverse-rear-bunks four-berth 600 DKG and transverse-rear-bed seven-berth 650 DG models survive in the L!VE Traveller line-up.

Further up the ranges and into the A-classes, the fixed-twin-single-bed four-berth Van i 600 MEG is deleted, to be replaced with a longer version – Van i 650 MEG – and Sky i 650 LG extends by half a metre to become Sky i 700 LG.

The Sky i Plus range has been folded into Sun I: the transverse-rear-bed four-berth Sky i Plus 650 LG is now Sun I 700 LG, while the fixed-twin-single-bed/end-washroom four-berth Sky i Plus 650 LEG is not carried forward for the new model year.

In other news

Knaus revealed that the forthcoming BoxDrive won’t be referred to as merely a van conversion (Kastenwagen). Instead, it will define a new sector, that of the ‘Caravanning Utility Vehicle’ or CUV.

Based on the VW Crafter, BoxDrive will be an all-German affair (although the Crafter is actually manufactured at a special new plant in Poland).

The base vehicle is fêted for having a superb car-like drive and is packed with driver assistance and safety systems – we expect the conversion by Knaus to be top-notch. Find out more about the BoxDrive 680 ME here.

Staying with van conversions, the BoxStar range sees minor changes, and four layouts from 5.4m to 6m in length are set to benefit from receiving the popular Platinum Selection trim package.

2018 Knaus motorhomes at a glance

Van conversions:

  • BoxStar Road 540 – 5.4m, Fiat Ducato, 2.0-litre engine, 3300kg MTPLM, 2/3 berths, 4 belted seats, front half-dinette and rear transverse bed
  • BoxStar Road 2Be 540 – 5.4m, Fiat Ducato, 2.0-litre engine, 3300kg MTPLM, 2 berths, 2 belted seats, front half-dinette and rear transverse bed
  • BoxStar Street 600 – 5.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.0-litre engine, 3300kg MTPLM, 2/3 berths, 4 belted seats, front half-dinette and rear transverse bed
  • BoxStar Family 600 – 5.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.0-litre engine, 3300kg MTPLM, 4/5 berths, 4 belted seats, front half-dinette and rear transverse bed
  • BoxStar Lifetime 600 – 5.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.0-litre engine, 3300kg MTPLM, 2 berths, 2 belted seats, front half-dinette and rear twin single beds
  • BoxStar Lifetime 600 – 5.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.0-litre engine, 3300kg MTPLM, 2/3 berths, 4 belted seats, front half-dinette and rear twin single beds
  • BoxStar Solution 600 – 5.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg MTPLM, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front half-dinette and rear transverse bed
  • BoxStar Freeway 630 – 6.36m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg MTPLM, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front half-dinette and rear twin single beds
  • BoxLife 540 MK – 5.41m, Fiat Ducato, 2.0-litre engine, 3300kg MTPLM, 4 berths, 4 belted seats, front half-dinette and transverse rear bunks
  • BoxLife 600 MQ – 5.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg MTPLM, 4 berths, 4 belted seats, front half-dinette and transverse rear bed
  • BoxLife 630 ME – 6.36m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg MTPLM, 4 berths, 4 belted seats, front half-dinette and rear twin single beds
       

Low-profiles:

  • Knaus Van Ti 550 MD – 5.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and transverse rear bed
  • Knaus Van Ti 650 MEG – 7.03m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
  • NEW! Knaus L!VE Ti 590 MF – 6.44m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and rear French bed
  • NEW! Knaus L!VE Ti 650 MEG – 6.98m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/3 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
  • NEW! Knaus L!VE Ti 700 MEG – 7.52m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
  • Knaus Sky Ti 590 MF – 6.43m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and rear French bed
  • Knaus Sky Ti 650 MG – 6.98m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and transverse rear bed
  • Knaus Sky Ti 650 MEG – 6.98m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
  • Knaus Sky Ti 650 MF – 6.98m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4/6 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and rear French bed
  • Knaus Sky Ti 700 MG – 7.52m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and rear transverse bed
  • Knaus Sky Ti 700 MEB – 7.52m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
  • Knaus Sky Ti 700 MEG – 7.52m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
  • Knaus Sky Ti 700 MX – 7.52m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and rear island bed
  • Knaus Sun Ti 650 MF – 6.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and rear French bed
  • Knaus Sun Ti 650 MEG – 6.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
  • Knaus Sun Ti 650 MG – 6.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and transverse rear bed
  • Knaus Sun Ti 700 MEG – 7.47m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
  • Knaus Sun Ti 700 MX – 7.47m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and rear island bed
  • Knaus Sun Ti Platinum Selection 650 MF – 6.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and rear French bed
  • Knaus Sun Ti Platinum Selection 650 MEG – 6.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
  • Knaus Sun Ti Platinum Selection 650 MG – 6.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and transverse rear bed
  • Knaus Sun Ti Platinum Selection 700 MEG – 7.47m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
  • Knaus Sun Ti Platinum Selection 700 MX – 7.47m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 2/4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and rear island bed
  • NEW! Knaus L!VE Wave 650 MG – 6.98m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4/6 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and transverse rear bed
  • NEW! Knaus L!VE Wave 650 MX – 6.98m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4/5 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and rear island bed
  • NEW! Knaus L!VE Wave 700 MEG – 7.52m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4/6 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
  • NEW! Knaus L!VE Wave 650 MX – 6.98m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4/5 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and rear island bed
  • Knaus Sky Wave 650 MF – 6.98m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4/6 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and rear French bed
  • Knaus Sky Wave 650 MEG – 6.98m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4/5 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
  • Knaus Sky Wave 700 MEG – 7.52m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4/5 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
       

Overcab coachbuilts:

  • NEW! Knaus L!VE Traveller 550 DB – 5.96m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4 berths, 6 belted seats, front lounge and overcab double bed
  • NEW! Knaus L!VE Traveller 600 DKG – 6.5m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 6 berths, 6 belted seats, front lounge, overcab double bed and fixed rear bunks
  • NEW! Knaus L!VE Traveller 650 DG – 6.99m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 6 berths, 6 belted seats, front lounge, overcab double bed and transverse rear bed
       

A-class motorhomes:

  • Knaus Van i 550 MD – 5.96m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and transverse rear bed
  • Knaus Van i 600 MG – 6.76m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and transverse rear bed
  • Knaus Van i 650 MEG – 7m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 5 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge and fixed twin single beds
  • Knaus Sky i 650 LEG – 6.94m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge with drop-down double bed and fixed twin single beds
  • Knaus Sky i 700 LG – 7.48m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4/6 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge with drop-down double bed and rear transverse bed
  • Knaus Sky i 700 LEG – 7.48m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4/6 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge with drop-down double bed and fixed twin single beds
  • Knaus Sky i 700 LX – 7.48m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 3500kg, 4/6 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge with drop-down double bed and rear island bed
  • NEW! Knaus Sun i 700 LG – 7.44m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 4000kg, 4/6 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge with drop-down double bed and rear transverse bed
  • NEW! Knaus Sun i 700 LEG – 7.44m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 4000kg, 4/6 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge with drop-down double bed and fixed rear single beds
  • NEW! Knaus Sun i 700 LX – 7.44m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 4000kg, 4/6 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge with drop-down double bed and rear island bed
  • Knaus Sun i 900 LEG – 8.22m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 5000kg, 4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge with drop-down double bed and fixed rear single beds
  • Knaus Sun i 900 LX – 8.22m, Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre engine, 4000kg, 4 berths, 4 belted seats, front lounge with drop-down double bed and rear island bed
      
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