Volkswagen Tristar Concept Pickup Hints At Tomorrow's Transporter

VW doesn't often produce pickup trucks but when they do, they're some of the most interesting pickup trucks in the world. Take the newly unveiled Tristar concept pickup. The sharp-looking, diesel-powered Tristar features a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission and pampers drivers with an interior mobile office complete with espresso machine.

Volkswagen chose the 65th IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover, Germany, for the Tristar concept to make its debut. Also notable is the date, September 25th, which just happens to be the 30th anniversary of VW's first syncro (4WD) concept car.

The Tristar's aggressively creased body rides on VW's T platform; currently underpinning the T5 generation of Transporter vans sold in the European and Mexican markets. The finished look of the Tristar's distinct LED headlights and associated front end architecture indicate the refined styling direction the Transporter series will display next year when the line's next generation (the T6 Transporter) makes its debut.

Unlike many “all show, no go” concept vehicles, the Tristar is ready to roll at the turn of a key. Don't let the thought of a 2.0L TDI diesel engine make you think this modern-day descendant of the venerable Microbus is, well, bus-like... VW's Commercial Vehicles division has kindly installed a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission to bring out the engine's best. Does acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 10 seconds and a top speed of 185 km/h sound bus-like to you?

While the Tristar concept may be a bit short on wheelbase, it pampers occupants with an extended cab and an extra 30mm of ground clearance over the current Transporter that make it truly off-road ready.

Once on the trail, handling is secure thanks to full-time 4Motion 4-wheel drive with a locking mechanical rear axle differential. The Tristar's 17-inch wheels add comfort quotient without sacrificing needed grip. If all this wasn't enough, the Tristar features a two-level cargo area though that's not readily apparent: a dust-proof, watertight sliding drawer is mounted beneath the bed.

The good stuff just keeps on coming once you step inside, where adjustable driver's and passenger's seats slide into position around what VW calls “a mobile office with a 20-inch tablet table and state-of-the-art video conferencing and sound systems.” Since business-folks sip java like a Tristar gulps diesel, the mobile office dispenses “fuel” to meeting participants via an onboard espresso machine. Telecommuting just got WAY cooler!

Considering how complete and ready-for-the-road the Tristar appears to be, one would hope it not only makes it into production but also that VW brings it to North America. We can just imagine some impressed one-percenter rolling down his or her window and asking “Have you any Grey Poupon?,” and the VW Tristar driver replying “No, but would you care for an espresso?” (via Gizmag)