Operators hoping to feast their eyes on VW’s Transporter at the brand’s home town show had to be content with a taster in the form of the Tristar concept, which the manufacturer insists offers clues as to what to expect from the T6 to follow next year.
Reviving a name VW used for an off-road concept 30 years ago, the 4Motion Tristar pick-up presents a beefier, wider face than the current T5 with wrap-around lines and LED headlights.
Inside the cab the Tristar offers swiveling leather-clad seats, a video conferencing facility, a table with integrated tablet PC and even an espresso maker.
A pull-out drawer for storing work gear is accessible from the interior and opens to the side behind the driver’s door. There is a larger, weatherproof pull-out drawer underneath the load bay and a retractable rear window to offer access to the interior from the outside and vice-versa.
The Tristar concept gets a 2.0-litre, 200hp TDi engine wedded to seven-speed DSG transmission and a payload of 950kg.
VW’s head of technology, Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, claimed not to be disappointed by the manufacturer not unveiling its new Transporter van in Hanover.
He said the Tristar concept the brand did reveal at the show “shares a lot of elements with the T6”.
He stressed the T6 will retain all the T5’s functionality but will also incorporate more emotional appeal, particularly in its interior style that will move closer towards the passenger car range.
“I believe with Tristar we have chosen the direction for T6,” Rothenpieler said.
“Everyone knows we will present the T6 next year.”
He admits, however, that the April 2015 CV Show in Birmingham will be too early for its debut.
Rothenpieler promises new Euro 6 engines and a raft of new safety and assistance systems for the new model such as adaptive cruise control, emergency braking and an adaptive chassis set-up taken from the Passat passenger car. He also pledges a 15% cut in fuel consumption.
“We are looking everyday at the competitors,” he said and named the Ford Transit Custom and Mercedes Vito as the key rivals.
Rothenpieler said VW will retain the Crafter name for its new heavy van following the break-up of its deal with Mercedes, which sees the current model built on the Sprinter platform. The all-VW Crafter will be produced at a purpose-built plant in Poland and come to market in 2016, as will the next generation Caddy light van, he confirmed.
VW displayed its compact electric prototype van the E-Load-up in Hanover and Rothenpieler claimed it would go into production this year with a UK launch on the cards, although he would not say when. He was less specific about when an electric Caddy would come to market. “We are working on it,” he said.
Other highlights on the VW stand included another Amarok special edition, the Atacama, which is based on the Trendline trim and set to come to the UK next year while VW announced it has extended the option of automatic transmission to the single cab pick-up.
Space was also given to a light weight fridge van conversion of the Transporter with a 1.5-tonne payload, which should go into series production in 2017, according to Rothenpieler.