By ANTHONY BOND
When seen on the road, this camper van does not look out of the ordinary.
However, its interior hides a very impressive and secretive design which can double its living space at the touch of a button.
The new invention transforms the T5 Doubleback into a 26ft long home on wheels.
Impressive: This camper van is guaranteed to turn heads after engineers used Thunderbirds-style technology to double living space at the touch of a button
Cool: The impressive van does not look out of place on the beach – and would easily be able to fit picnic hampers, deck chairs – and even a surf board
Modern: The new T5 Doubleback hides a secret compartment that automatically slides out by flicking a switch
Roomy: The new invention transforms the elongated van into a 26ft long home on wheels and doubles the living space
Take a tour of the practical Doubleback VW Camper
The Doubleback model is the first campervan to feature the sliding technology, which takes less than a minute to extend.
However, living space isn’t the only thing that doubles.
A basic 2013 T5 Doubleback will set buyers back £54,000 while a top-spec model with added extras like a flatscreen TV, DVD player, beds in the roof and an awning could cost up to £70,000.
The van also has the usual mod-cons like a built-in cooker, fridge, convertible bed and even a lifting roof.
Spacious: This image shows the camper van’s interior before its conversion into the bigger version
A spokesman for Danbury Motorcaravans said: ‘The Doubleback model is a unique, exciting new concept in camping.
‘The beauty of this van is that on first appearance it looks like any other, but then the back slides out and it transforms into a van like no other.
‘It is the perfect campervan, offering extended living space within a normal sized, self-contained van.
‘It gives much more flexibility than a standard camper thanks to the extending pod which adds so much more space.
‘The back section really does become like a living room.
‘I imagine there will be more than a few dropped jaws when campers see the Doubleback’s pod in action – they will have never seen anything quite like this.
‘It is like Thunderbirds technology. It is the evolution of more than 60 years of the iconic Volkswagen camper.”
Why pull a camper behind you or drive an oversized motorhome when all you really need to drive is a van? Based on the VW Transporter, the Doubleback Van (£55,000; roughly $87,000) is a deceptively large recreational vehicle, powered by VW’s 2.0 TDI engine, and featuring an electric slide-out rear pod that adds almost six feet to the length of the vehicle when stationary, a pop-up roof that lets you walk comfortably around in the living and kitchen areas, and the ability to function as a regular van during those times when you need something a bit more practical.