Every year, one motorhome stands above the rest in terms of its truly outrageous, no-expense-spared build spec and price tag. It usually comes down to a battle between the two German Vs – Volkner and Variomobil. Volkner takes the prize again in 2022, and while this year’s 39-foot (12-m) Performance S doesn’t quite hit the US$7.7 million high the company reached last year, it’s arguably a nicer overall package thanks to additions like a large rooftop deck, floor plan-wide surround sound system and coffee-and-cocktails bar. The LaFerrari that finds a cozy home between the front and rear axles isn’t bad, either.
Volkner exhibited this particular Performance S earlier this year at the 2022 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, where it attracted hordes of visitors with its Halloween-like orange-and-black paint job and contrasting pure-white LaFerrari hanging out of its gut. Along with the Action Mobil Global XRS 7400, it was definitely the largest, most gawk-worthy spectacle of the show. But while the Action Mobil could be had for a mere €1.1 million, the Performance S required buyers to cough up nearly twice that – just over €2 million (approx. US$2.1 million). Add in the cost of that LaFerrari, and the price more than doubled to over €5.3 million (US$5.7 million).
Based on that breakdown, the LaFerrari costs roughly the same €3 million as last year’s Bugatti Chiron, so the $2 million price difference ultimately comes down to the motorhome spec and a current exchange rate that’s much kinder to the US dollar. We’d say that makes this year’s Performance S a comparative bargain because it definitely isn’t lacking in amenities. In fact, it has some interesting options previous Performance S show models did not, starting with its 135-sq-ft (12.5-sq-m) rooftop deck, admittedly a little awkward to get to via a ladder in the bathroom shower. The deck is designed to seat six to eight for stargazing, spectating, people watching and general fresh air relaxation.
The remainder of the roof is dedicated to practical equipment, including the 2,000-W solar panel array, satellite dish, 4G antenna and dual air conditioning system. Dedicated large and small air conditioners are installed for cooling the front living area and rear bedroom, respectively.
The custom Performance S interior features a unique layout we haven’t seen before. In particular, the high L-shaped kitchen counter with barstools on the outside feels more like something you’d see in a (stationary) home or on a yacht, creating the perfect space for owners to enjoy coffee and a light breakfast in the morning and wine or cocktails in the evening. On the other side of that bar top, the kitchen area comes stocked with a three-burner induction cooktop, oven, microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator with separate 12-bottle wine cooler.
Also unique is the use of a daybed instead of a basic sofa in the front living area. This bed makes use of the driver-side wall slide-out for proper spacing.
The main 71 x 79-in (180 x 200-cm) bed is located in the rear bedroom. It would appear the buyer behind this particular build spends a lot of time sitting up while reading, working or web surfing because the bed has a tall cushioned headrest, which replaces the window that would otherwise be visible there.
Instead of Volkner’s usual Burmester audio system, the customer specced out their own custom sound system with speakers throughout, including 5.1 surround sound in the living area. LED smart TVs in the living room and bedroom supply the picture to go along with the audio. A 20-kWh lithium battery bank charged with the help of the aforementioned solar array powers those electronics and other interior electrical equipment.
This Performance S is built atop a Volvo bus chassis with 503-hp rear engine and air suspension system. Its €5,311,000 final price, including taxes, made it the most expensive motorhome at the 2022 Caravan Salon and the most expensive RV we here at New Atlas covered all year — by a very comfortable margin.