It's no secret that the idea of living in a van is growing in popularity. The "vanlife" hashtag has over 15 million posts on Instagram, and is incredibly popular on sites like TikTok, too.
Ford has taken notice. Their latest release – the Ford Nugget – is a campervan which has been intelligently designed to maximise the potential of the vehicle for both work and play. In fact, I'd go as far as saying it might be the only campervan you'd ever need to consider.
Let's start under the bonnet. While there's no wholly EV option available here, there is a plug-in hybrid option for the first time. Other variants utilise the EcoBlue engine, with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
It's not the kind of car you're going to want for its engine, though. What's far more interesting is what's going on in the rest of the vehicle.
You'll find two seats in the front, with a three-seater bench in the rear. The front seats swivel around, offering a living room experience with seating for up to five people. That rear bench also pulls flat, offering a bed area when needed.
Plus, thanks to an electric handbrake, there's nothing on the floor between the front seats. That makes it much easier to walkthrough into the front cab, and lends a more liveable feel to the space.
You'll also find a 13-inch touchscreen in the front cab. That's perfect for controlling everything you could want while driving, and is equipped with the latest Ford SYNC 4 software.
At the rear, you'll find an L-shaped kitchen built into the back of the van. There's plenty of drawer space on offer, along side a deep drawer fridge for keeping perishables. There's a hob in there, too, ready for all of your Michelin star-worthy culinary creations, and a sink for good measure.
Beside that, there's a water supply for a shower. With the new models, that includes hot water as standard – it was previously an optional extra.
Other new benefits include a self-folding fabric on the roof. That should simplify the process of opening and lowering the roof, making it easier than ever to get on your way quickly.
There's even a 5G modem built into the vehicle, to ensure you can stay connected to the outside world. That's truly remarkable, and could make this a really popular option. I love the idea of working remotely from the Nugget, and it's entirely plausible to do just that.
You'll also find a 7-inch touchscreen in the rear of the van. That's used to control the living aspects of the camper – things like lighting and heating. It will also pair to your phone via Bluetooth, allowing you to control those things from your device – handy if, say, you've just got into bed and realised you've left a light on.
One other thing you can control from that is the Inclinometer. That allows you to level the vehicle if your camping spot is on uneven ground. That's a really handy feature, and should make the living experience much more bearable.
Prices start from €76,500, with UK pricing set to be confirmed in due course. The first model is available to order from tomorrow, for delivery in Spring of 2024. Other specifications will be rolled out in a phased manner over the coming year.