Pössl moves on up with small, ultra-versatile Mercedes 4x4 camper van
With its Campster and Vanster, Germany's Pössl already offers two of the most versatile camper vans on the road, vans optimized for morphing between everyday driving, gear-hauling and camping configurations. Now it's bringing that versatility home to Germany by basing a new pair of campers on Mercedes' midsize V-Class and Vito. Not only will the new Mercedes "Stars" of Pössl's lineup offer a little upmarket flair over their Citroën half-siblings, they'll bring the option of all-wheel drive to the multifunctional van family.
Pössl recently teased the all-new V-Class-based Campstar and Vito Tourer Pro-based Vanstar, both of which will launch for the 2021 model year. It confirmed that Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive with 9G-Tronic transmission will be available, bringing an always-coveted all-terrain option to Pössl's clever multipurpose camper van line. The Citroën-based Campster and Vanster models do not have an AWD option.
Both Campstar and Vanstar vans are currently prototypes, but Pössl has revealed a few important details through its photos. Like the Campster and Vanster, the Star line will include at least one indoor/outdoor kitchen. Likely part of the Campstar van package, the kitchen appears to stay attached to the van while swinging out the sliding door for outdoor use. It's not clear if it also removes completely, which is a big component of the Citroën Campster's versatility that opens the van up with a near-empty cargo floor that can also accommodate a total of seven seats. Either way, the Star swing-out kitchen should make outdoor camp cooking a little quicker and more seamless than a fully removable kitchen.
Whether or not the Star line has all the floor rail flexibility of the Campster, the little piece of floor rail captured in the photo below suggests the Star vans will maintain at least some of that signature modularity. The photo also shows a single-burner induction cooktop on a small folding shelf in the rear of the van. That might seem redundant after looking over the full indoor/outdoor kitchen block above, but we'd guess it's a part of a lighter kitchen option for the Vanstar. When it launched the Vanster sleeper van last year, Pössl introduced an optional self-contained "Campbox" tailgate kitchen for those looking to add cooking capabilities.
Photos also show both Campstar and Vanstar vans with pop-up roofs, meaning they're almost certainly four-sleeper family campers with one folding bed in the cabin and a second bed in the roof.
We'll have to wait for the full premiere for further details, but looking at the many faces of the Campster and Vanster provides a clue of just how versatile the Mercedes Star models could be. The only permanent piece of camper equipment in the Campster is the rear wardrobe with electrical hardware and cool box compartment. The sidewall kitchen removes completely via the floor rails to leave a near-empty cabin that can be used for cargo or filled with one or two rows of rear seats for up to seven passengers. For camping, the two-seat rear bench folds down into a two-person bed.
The Vanster loses the rear wardrobe and side kitchen but gains the option of removable tailgate kitchen mentioned earlier. This makes it a simpler sleeper van but also gives it space for two three-seat rear rows, accommodating up to eight in passenger configuration.
Pössl says that it will release all the Campstar/Vanstar information by the end of the year before launching the models in 2021.