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Volkswagen unveils Tristar off-road concept

Perfect barista: the Tristar concept not only has rugged good looks but it can also make a coffee with its on-board espresso machine.

Tristar concept reveals future look for next-gen Volkswagen Transporter


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23 Sep 2014

VOLKSWAGEN has celebrated the 30th anniversary of its first four-wheel drive van by unveiling its tough Tristar concept at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Germany, revealing the future look of the next-generation Transporter.

The off-road ready Tristar revives the nameplate Volkswagen used in the mid-1980s on its T3 Transporter-based pick-ups with the company’s first four-wheel drive system called Syncro.

Built on the platform underpinning the current T Series, the Tristar concept showcases the styling of the sixth-generation Transporter expected to debut at next year’s Geneva motor show.

The Tristar brings an updated look to the Transporter’s face with wraparound LED headlights and new bumper treatment.

The concept has an extended cab chassis on a short wheelbase and the beefy off-road tyres, plastic guards and side skirts add to its tough appearance. A spare wheel is strapped behind the rear window, while a dust-proof, watertight drawer is housed under the flatbed section.

Inside, Volkswagen says the broad and slab-like dashboard is reminiscent of earlier Transporters. A 20-inch tablet table extends between the seats which can slide and swivel to access the espresso machine behind.

The Tristar has a permanent four-wheel drive system with a mechanical rear differential lock and ground clearance has been raised by 30mm.

Powering the pick-up is a 150kW/450Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel matched with a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, helping the Tristar reach 100km/h in 10 seconds on the way to a top speed of 185km/h.

Speaking at the concept’s debut, Volkswagen commercial vehicles chairman of the board Eckhard Scholz said the Tristar embodies the Transporter’s past with a focus on the future.

“The Tristar shows an unprecedented combination of all the good features of the T model series,” he said.

“It demonstrates its potential and proves it is still the ultimate benchmark.

Hence the Tristar combines yesterday and tomorrow: On the occasion of the anniversary of the first Syncro concept car, its strikingly shows the company's all-wheel drive expertise and demonstrates its future viability.”

The current-generation Transporter has been around since 2003 and received a facelift in 2010.

Locally, pricing ranges from $36,490, plus on-road costs for the short-wheelbase TDI250 and tops out at $47,490 for the long-wheelbase all-wheel drive TDI400.

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