Introduced in 2007 at the Detroit auto show, the Toyota A-Bat pick-up truck/sedan synergy is now creeping slowly, hesitantly towards production. Although nothing has been green-lighted, Toyota executives have confirmed for Auto News that they’ve begun accepting supplier bids for the A-Bat’s construction components. So does this mean the freaky little A-Bat is destined for U.S. roadways? Not necessarily.
According to Toyota, the process of accepting supplier bids is a common industry practice used to evaluate the approximate cost of production, and doesn’t necessarily indicate Toyota’s future plans. Although preliminary design plans for the Toyota A-Bat indicate a vehicle that would lean heavily on body parts/design cues from both the Toyota Camry and 2010 Toyota Prius, the overall architecture of the A-Bat is expected to cost more to build than the Toyota Tacoma’s platform. As a result, the A-Bat’s future as a production model currently hangs in the balance. Despite it’s promising future as what could prove to be an engineering breakthrough for Toyota, if the final estimate of the Toyota A-Bat’s production costs exceed Toyota’s projected budget, the A-Bat project will be shelved.