There was a buoyant mood at Carthago as it launched its 2016 season models. Introducing updates across both the Carthago and Malibu ranges, the manufacturer hopes to bring the brand to a younger audience as well as giving existing loyal customers more of what they’ve come to expect.

In the 2014/1015 year, there’s been about a 10% increase in the number of orders placed, with ambitions to increase this further, and there are now 140 Carthago dealers across Europe. At present, the UK accounts for around 10% of European sales and, while admitting that the exchange rate is not currently helpful, Carthago feels the UK market has great potential for growth. Indeed, it’s anticipated that some of the 2016 revisions, to the e-line range in particular, will help the brand gain momentum in the British market.

And two years since the launch of the Malibu brand, it has proved to be a sales hit. Indeed, production capacity had to be increased twice and each time it was still a sell-out.

What’s changed

There’s a lot going on across the Carthago portfolio. The focus is on the chic e-line/chic s-plus, c-tourer and Malibu ranges, with new generation chic e-line/chic s-plus models and updates to the c-tourer sport range including a new layout, while for the Malibu campervan brand that only debuted in 2013, there are layout tweaks and a whole new range of Malibu motorhomes, although these won’t be coming to the UK until next season at the earliest.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the liner model will no longer be built, meaning the highliner is now the range-topper. Carthago was keen to stress that this is not the end of the liner. The manufacturer has the capability and capacity to build these ‘vans, it is merely “taking a break”.

The headlines

New generations of the Fiat Ducato-based chic e-line and its sister range, the Iveco Daily-based chic s-plus, have been launched for 2016, and there’s now an impressive 12-model range. The e-line range is selling well in the UK and the company believes these revisions will be welcomed by the British market.

Aesthetically, there’s a new look for the ranges, what Carthago calls its ‘v face’ design. This is accompanied by a 9cm bigger windscreen which is being introduced across the firm’s output. There’s also a new look for the GRP rear. Step inside and there’s a new curved finish for the cabinet to the left of the entrance, plus the overhead cabinets and the glass cabinet have been redesigned.

However, the biggest changes are the two new layouts, the twin single bed 55 XL and the island bed 58 XL, across both the e-line and s-plus ranges. The lounges of both are well-proportioned and feature an L-shaped bench and a generous side bench, while the corner kitchen with a curved worktop makes the most of the available space, the bathroom with a shower opposite it between the kitchen and the island bed/fixed singles. Carthago also previewed a new folding door concept in this and other ranges, but stressed this is a pre-production, conceptual variant and not ready for market. In addition, for the s-plus, there’s a new two-step entrance system, a heated windscreen is an option, and the 2016 ‘vans will revert to the original Iveco dashboard in the cab rather than a Carthago design, as requested by owners.

Perhaps the c-tourer sport’s most obvious update is that its body is now white, rather than the grey of before. But it’s also got new ‘hanging’ door mirrors, replacing ‘standing’ mirrors on the outgoing model, and new front end styling is complemented by the same 9cm larger windscreen as on its e-line/s-plus stablemates.

There’s also a new model for the c-tourer sport range, the 144. Despite being a just 6.99m-long motorhome, the new 144 manages to offer a 195 x 145cm island bed, because the bed can be slid back 30cm when not in use, easing movement around it – there’s also the option to have a height-adjustable bed. Washing facilities comprise a washroom and toilet, with a shower room opposite, while in the central kitchen is a 140-litre slimline tower fridge. 

And Carthago’s Malibu brand, a range of luxury panel van conversions, doesn’t escape changes for the 2016 season. There’s now a four-model line up, with the 600 DB 2 low bed joining the 600 DB, the 600 DSB 4 and 640 LE, meaning the range has layouts offering a choice of longitudinal single beds, a bunk bed, a transverse double bed and a low-set double bed for easier access.

Other updates for the Malibu range include a new, bright white exterior, new interior ‘delight’ furnishings, and fittings to allow the campervan’s dining table to be used outside, too, clipping to the side of the ‘van.

But that’s not all for Malibu, as it also revealed a new line of Malibu motorhomes in addition to the aforementioned luxury panel van conversions. For the 2016 season, these new Malibu motorhomes will be sold only in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, before branching out to other European markets in subsequent years. The range will consist of A-class and low profile models, and offer three layouts.

In other news 

A raft of updates has been implemented across the Carthago range for the 2016 season. The width of all single beds has been increased to 80cm, there’s a new heating distribution system, from the c-line range up there’s a new shoe cabinet, many ‘vans feature the aforementioned 9cm bigger windscreen, plus the opening angle of the rear garage has been increased so owners can make the most of the space available and load items with ease. There are also changes to the upholstery options.

The c-compactline series is largely unchanged for 2016. Detail upgrades include an increase in the fresh water capacity to 120 litres, the waste water capacity upped to 95 litres, plus a new rear view mirror system. The low profile c-tourer range was new in 2015, so new foglights and LED driving lights are about the extent of the changes there.

The A-class c-tourer gains the same front treatment as the c-tourer sport, gets the same increases in water carrying capacity as the c-compactline, has a new L-shaped lounge and Alde heating is now an option.

Again, changes are slight for the chic c-line. These include doubling the size of the heated underfloor storage area, better integrating the glass cabinet and adding an electrically heated windscreen as an option.

Finally, the now top-of-the-range highliner also continues into the 2016 season with only small changes, including newly designed kitchens, bathrooms and showers. Of interest to customers, though, is that production is now on the same line as the e-line and s-plus models, increasing availability of the model and reducing delivery times.

And if you want to find out more about the 2016 Carthago line up, check out the planned 11-’van display at the NEC show this October.