Meet the TRISTAR, Volkswagen’s half-truck, half-van commercial concept

Have you ever been in a van before and said, “It’s nice, I just wish this puppy had a truck bed instead of seats?”

No? Well, somebody at Volkswagen did.

The company has just announced the TRISTAR, a half-van, half-truck hybrid at the IAA commercial vehicle conference in Hannover, Germany. Clearly, this is a creation that leaves vehicular classification at the worksite.

The TRISTAR actually starts out as a short-wheelbase Transporter van, but somebody not named Jason Statham hacked away the rear portion of the roof. What you’re left with is a strange half-breed that can do a little bit of everything.

Like a good truck, the TRISTAR can go off road. Volkswagen has stiffened the Transporter’s front end, added knobby tires, and fitted plastic body armor around the underbody contact points. The TRISTAR also has a locking rear axle, VW’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, and sits 1.2 inches higher than standard.

Like a good van, the TRISTAR … well, it’s not that great as a van. Because of the addition/subtraction necessary to create the truck bed, which features a spare tire mount and a watertight drawer, the odd VW only has two seats.

The passengers are ensured an enjoyable voyage, however, because the TRISTAR’s cabin comes fully loaded with swivel chairs, a 20-inch tablet table, tons of storage, and an espresso machine. Yes, an espresso machine.

Related: Volkswagen’s Beetle Dune confirmed for production

So, even though it may look like a scaled-up Lego vehicle, the TRISTAR is packed with professional-grade goodies.

Volkswagen was also considerate enough to fit the TRISTAR with a 2.0-liter TDI engine, because anything more could jeopardize the integrity of the espresso machine. Still, the oddly shaped truck will hit 60 mph in 10 seconds, and continue to a top speed of 115 mph.

Now, all that’s left is to write it off as a business expense.


Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Smart Home

Espresso On Demand: The five best Nespresso machines

Most people still trek down to their local coffee shop to get an espresso or a cappuccino, but you don't have to. A Nespresso machine can put coffee shop quality espresso on your kitchen counter.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.

Brew, drip, or press a fresh cup of joe with today’s best deals on coffee makers

To kick off the day with a fresh cup or upgrade your home coffee machine to accommodate the preferences of dinner guests, check these hot deals for drip coffee makers, espresso machines, and single-serving devices on Walmart and Amazon.

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.