Fun Trucks Friday: the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of pickups, the VW Tristar

Updated Oct 5, 2014

Among the attention-grabbers at the IAA commercial vehicle show in Hannover, Germany, this week, Volkswagen unveiled the new Tristar pick-up concept.

The FTF staff debated about whether to hand the Tristar over to the grown-ups at Hard Working Trucks for a thorough and professional analysis, but we decided to hold on to it for a couple of reasons: the vehicle is, for now, still just a show pony; and VW tends to keep their cool trucks out of the U.S. (think Amarok).

Still, we can hope this “Swiss Army Knife” of a commercial vehicle, as VW dubs it, makes it across the pond. And if it does, our pickup pros will surely put one through its paces.

For now, we can just pass along concept highlights.

Based on VW’s T series, the beefy pick-up with extended cab, styling bar and short wheelbase has permanent four-wheel drive with mechanical rear axle differential lock and 30mm additional ground clearance, giving it good off-road capability. (Although, if you do the math on 30mm, 1.18 inches doesn’t seem like much.)

Cargo can be distributed on two separate levels: there is a spacious, dust-proof and watertight drawer under the flatbed section, where a deep-tread spare tire is also housed.

The interior has a 20-inch tablet table and state-of-the-art video conferencing and sound systems. The driver and passenger seats turn and slide, should the truck’s crew ever need to play cards on the job. There’s even an espresso machine installed, because what roughneck can start his day without a demitasse?

“The Tristar combines elements of yesterday and tomorrow,” said Dr. Eckhard Scholz, chairman of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, speaking at the world premiere. “We take the needs of our customers seriously and are continuing to develop our best-seller with great purpose.”

Keep your fingers crossed.