Finally, a Hybrid Truck From Toyota ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Finally, a Hybrid Truck From Toyota

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Finally, a Hybrid Truck From Toyota

Toyota A BAT Hybrid TruckToo bad it's just a concept.

With the upcoming hybrid SUVs from GM, I have been wondering when a real hybrid truck would come about (next up would be a hybrid minivan which is available in the US?). Something useful, but still gets great gas mileage. And who better to do it than Toyota, who sells three out of every four hybrids every month.

The A-BAT pickup concept hybrid truck will be presented at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The shape has been 'inspired' by the Prius, while the engine is a four-cylinder hybrid electric.

"We studied the 'trapezoid' silhouette from the side profile of the Toyota Prius and applied it to create an entirely new truck image," said Creative Designer Matt Sperling.

Smaller than the Tacoma, with just a four foot bed, this truck won't be hauling the big loads. But there is seating for four, although the rear seats can fold up and hide away, which seems to indicate it won't be comfortable seating for four (can you see a child seat back there?). For more room, there are lockable drawers in the walls of the truck bed and a larger drawer that slides out from underneath.

For that extra touch of 'greenness' you will find the top surface of the instrument panel is actually made up of solar power cells, capable of running the power for the navigation system. Other features include tailgate lighting for illuminating the load in the bed, a first aid kit and flashlight integrated into the tailgate, sliding tie downs, and an AC power outlet.

At the end of the day, this truck was designed with a very limited customer base in mind. Good fuel economy with a unibody design for a small truck platform is going to appeal to a limited crowd. Still it's good to see Toyota stretching the possibilities into compact trucks.

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