In a move thought to bolster its future lineup against the looming CAFE regulations, Toyota confirmed its recent queries to suppliers for the possible production of its Prius-inspired A-BAT concept truck. The truck made its debut last January at the Detroit auto show where it was quickly labeled by designers as the "next evolution of the compact truck."
As reported by Automotive News, Toyota president Jim Lentz made it clear the automaker has only made the decision to ask for supplier bids and has not yet greenlighted the concept for production. Toyota is said to be contacting suppliers for a four-cylinder and hybrid-powered A-BAT truck.
If this is your first time seeing the uniquely styled A-BAT, here's some background info for you to chew on. The compact truck concept was built upon a car's (currently no word regarding which car) unibody construction allowing for improved road handling. Under the hood lies a four-cylinder engine mated to a fuel-efficient next-generation Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive. Designers penned the vehicle to be the ideal suburban truck capable of occasionally trekking off-road. Engineers incorporated a variety of storage spaces ideal for weekend adventurers and also stocked it full with the latest multimedia technologies.
On the exterior, a distinct Prius-like trapezoidal profile was employed in order to make the four-passenger truck as aerodynamic and fuel efficient as possible. Further aiding in the vehicle's green signature are translucent solar panels placed on top of the cabin that convert sunlight into usable energy.
Although the A-BAT concept is smaller than the current Tacoma, many industry insiders believe the truck will be more expensive to produce due to its carlike underpinnings. As a result, the sharing of multiple components with the redesigned 2010 Prius and Camry Hybrid will likely be the case if the A-BAT gets the greenlight in the near future.
Here some specifications (in concept form:)
TOYOTA A-BAT CONCEPT
Drivetrain Four cylinder gas engine with Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive
Wheelbase 112.2 in
Overall Length 181.3 in
Overall Width 74.4 in
Overall Height 64.0 in
Bed Length 48.0 in
Bed Length with Midgate down 72.0 in
Bed Length with Midgate and Tailgate down 96.0 in
Wheel size 19-inch aluminum
What do you think of the Toyota A-BAT concept?
If it's ever produced, do you see it to be a possible sales success in the current automotive market?
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)