Pilote is to match the “take it or leave It” Evidence range it launched last year with a new more bespoke Expression offer that replaces the former Essentiel and Sensation spec levels in its motorhome ranges.
The Evidence range itself is being expanded with one new rear lounge model, while there is also a new high roof model among the French company’s van conversions.
The company is also launching a new budget brand at this year’s Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, which half a dozen dealers in the UK – some existing Pilote dealers, some new ones – have already signed up for.
The Evidence range was launched last year, initially just in the UK. It included five of Pilote’s best selling models (four low-profiles and one A-class) at a special price but with a spec that customers would not be able to customise.
This is being continued for 2022 with the addition of a new model, the 696U. This 6.99m-long van comes with a U-shaped rear lounge below a drop down bed and a washroom spread across the van just behind the cab seats. The rear lounge includes one forward- and one backward-facing travel seat. There is also a separate seat just to the rear of the habitation door above a boot locker, designed to make it easier for you to remove your boots when climbing in. A space above that provides room for a 32-inch TV.
In addition to the 696U, the Evidence range includes the 650C, 626D and 696D low-profiles, and the island bed 740FC both as low-profile and as an A-class.
All these models, along with the rest of the Pilote line-up, are also available as marginally more expensive new Expression models, where you do get to pick and choose what optional extras you want.
So, while all models come with cab air conditioning and cruise control as standard, this season the Expression range includes two different Lux Packs giving you extras in the cab. Lux Pack 1 gets you a leather steering wheel, a technical dash and steering wheel controls. Lux Pack 2 gets you a 10-inch screen on the dash and GPS, and automatic air conditioning.
Sales of Pilote’s Fiat-based van conversions have risen sharply over the years, from 184 in 2015 to 1151 in 2020, with fixed single bed models becoming increasingly popular. This season sees the launch of the V633M. This comes with a drop-down bed model that, thanks to the higher than usual 2.83m-high roof, can be raised up to provide standing head room underneath, with a huge area for storing bikes or other equipment.
The V630LG, the only van conversion in Pilote’s range with the door on the “right” side for UK drivers, is continuing this year under a new name, the V630U.
The promised budget range, whose name is still being kept under wraps, will Initially be launched as a range of five low-profiles and three van conversions, with A-classes a possibility from next year.
The brand will be built on Pilote assembly lines. But the company aims to keep prices down by at least initially building the vehicles on a Citroën base and by making use of modular construction, including using the same washroom design in all vehicles.
The range has also been designed to be easy to understand to attract first-time buyers.
The low-profiles will include a 6m-long French bed model, and then island bed and fixed single bed models at 7m and 7.5m long. The 7m-long vehicles will have four travel seats, with a fifth seat going in the longer 7.5m-long vans.
The van conversion range will include a 5.4m-, 6.0m- and 6.4m-long model.
Pilote has doubled its dealer network in the past year, partly to prepare for the launch of the new brand. Among those taking it on is IH Motorhomes in Pontefract, which, alongside selling its own van conversion range, currently only deals in Swift when it comes to new motorhomes.Tamar Caravans, Caledonian Campers, Durham Caravan Centre and Salop Leisure are among the other dealers due to be stocking the brand.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, why not get the latest news, reviews and features delivered direct to your door or inbox every month. Take advantage of our brilliant Practical Caravan magazine SUBSCRIBERS’ OFFER and SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER for regular weekly updates on all things caravan related.
This season the Expression range includes two different Lux Packs giving you extras in the cab