It’s been said before that beauty isn’t everything, and the Volkswagen TRISTAR concept took that saying to heart. This half-truck, half-van concept was recently showcased at the IAA commercial vehicle conference and while many were left scratching their heads upon first look, after looking inside it’s easy to see why this ugly duckling might actually make a production appearance. The TRISTAR started its life as a short-wheelbase VW Transporter van before the rear half of the roof was removed and a bed added in its place. While it looks disjointed and a little off its rocker, the TRISTAR is actually the best of both worlds.
What It Has
Unlike the van it was spawned from, the TRISTAR actually has some off-road prowess thanks to a stiffened front end, added all-terrain tires, a locking rear axle, and best of all, the TRISTAR sits 1.2 inches higher than the van it came from. Pair this with Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive system and you have a decent off-road setup. As for the get up and go portion of the TRISTAR, you’ll find a 2-liter TDI engine that’s good for a top speed of 155 MPH and can hit 60 MPH in 10 seconds. With the addition of the bed came a spare tire mount as well as a watertight drawer in the bed and tie-down points that run the entire edge of the bed itself.
What It Doesn’t Have
While the added off-road package is great, one major issue with the TRISTAR is the fact that it only has two seats. While this is nothing new to the smaller truck owners, the current trend for larger trucks with higher seating capacities seems to be the norm, making a two-seater seem somewhat antiquated at this point. This doesn’t mean the interior of the TRISTAR is crowded by any means, and in fact the elimination of the remainder of the seats and division from cab to bed make for a massively roomy interior that’s great for packing in goodies.
No concept car (truck) would be complete without outrageous and wild additions. While most of these won’t make it to production if the TRISTAR were ever to get a chance in the real world, we can still dream and hope.
First and foremost, the TRISTAR comes with swivel chairs and a 20-inch tablet table in the center. Thanks to the swivel chairs, the tablet table can be easily accessed with sitting still. This makes the TRISTAR seem perfect for on the go professionals and could be the best mobile office we’ve seen. More important than swivel chairs and a giant tablet is the inclusion of an espresso machine. Not only can you get work done in this less-than-beautiful ride, but you can get your caffeine fix while doing it.
Finally, there’s tons of room for storage and people of all sizes in the cab, making this little giant the best thing going, no matter how it looks.