The concept vehicle A-BAT (Advanced-Breakthrough Aerodynamic Truck) shown last month at the Detroit Auto Show may become a reality now that automakers are starting to feel pinched by the new CAFE regulations.
"As we look to 2020, when we have to get 35 miles per gallon (fleetwide), that's a big challenge," Lentz said in an interview.The A-BAT could fit on the shortened Camry/Highlander platform, making it easier for production to begin. It could end up in either the Scion or Toyota lineup.
And Toyota wants you to let them know if it's a good idea. The Toyota Open Road Blog is looking for input on what you liked or didn't like about the concept. So head on over and have your say in what could be the first compact hybrid truck on the road in the US.
Some of the features won't be likely to make it out of the concept design, but others will.
The cargo bed is just 4 feet long, but can be extended by dropping the midgate, while a roof panel can be slid open for more upwards room. More features for the bed include: tailgate lighting, sliding tie-downs, and an AC power outlet. There are lockable drawers in the bed walls and a sliding drawer is located underneath the bed.
There is a solar panel which can be used to charge the NAV unit, while a portable power pack can provide AC and DC power for just about anything else you need.
And, if Toyota does go ahead with production of the A-BAT, it may force GM to compete with their concept hybrid compact truck, the Denali XT Hybrid.