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Toyota’s A-BAT Concept could be a Reality… if the Response is Right!

Posted in Auto Show, Car Tech, Concept Cars, Design, Hybrid, Toyota by will bee | February 12th, 2008 | 4 Responses |

toyotaa-bat-9.jpg picture by willfusion

Toyota executives are playing the wait-and-see game with their A-BAT Concept. After its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January and its showing at the Chicago Auto Show this past week the future of the A-BAT is in the hands of the consumer… for now.

As their current trucks have grown substantially in size and are selling well Toyota is looking for a truck to fit in on the small scale. As the auto market is beginning to swing back toward smaller cars all of the players in the industry are looking for a way to fill the void, but it is Toyota’s A-BAT that was first to step up with something different and say, “Pick Me!”
A-BAT Photo Gallery after the link

So as this years auto show pop up and as the internet forums chatter about Toyota will be listening and watching to determine if the A-BAT is the right trucklet to fill the small truck vacancy. This is not the first time Toyota has been moved by viewer response. The FJ Cruiser made its way from pure concept to production car by riding the wave of the public’s positive feedback. The FJ Cruiser borrowed from Toyota’s FJ past for its general shape, but molded those old bones into a new, modern take on the old faithful original. At a time when Retro was just getting moving it was the right time for the right concept.

For 2008 the concepts coming about seem to be focused on a more futuristic tinge and filled with new environmental and hybrid technologies. With its hybrid engine and low emissions the A-BAT is a green machine that still makes room for new technologies in the cabin. Keeping you connected to the world while out exploring it the A-BAT comes with wireless internet, a battery pack in the center console and a solar panel on the dash to charge the battery pack. The navigation system is designed to also draw power from the battery pack… just in time for those “Oh, Crap!” occassions we suppose.

The Toyota A-Bat appears to be the result of a stew brewed from the Chevy Avalanche, Toyota Prius, with a pinch of El Camino for spice. All those ingredients are boiled down to their bones and molded into a modern uni-body design for tomorrow and awaiting word on their future.

So what do you say car buying people? Is the A-BAT a winner? Does it have what it takes to fill the small truck void and possible lure over some SUV or CUV buyers?



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4 Responses

  1. Awesome! I want to buy one today! I am an independent contractor and I would use this truck for work and play. The compact size and fuel economy plus the useful truck bed are huge selling/buying points! I know a bunch of people that would be interested in this truck if it makes it to production, which I hope it does. I am going to buy this truck, this is the one!

  2. jason roberson says:

    I like it. i wish it were slightly more utility with a slightly longer bed. i love the styling and hybrid engine. I would love to see these on the road.

  3. Trip says:

    Great promise, but like every other “cross-over” out there today, this thing suffers from pointless design fads that are smothering the US car market and its materialistic, nonsensical trends. Namely:
    1) The shoulders are WAT too high; not enough window height. Either drop this line down 5-10 inches all the way around the vehicle (bed flanks included), or raise the height of the roof for more glass.
    2) Bloated body fenders do nothing but add bulk and take up space. They need to be reduced and squared off all around the vehicle. And please, less plastic, more metal. Everywhere.
    3) Fascia is too metrosexual. Needs to be simplified and ruggetized, ala. today’s Land Cruisers made for Europe/Middle East/Africa (HZJ76/78/79 come to mind).
    5) Lose the neon flash in the interior, and matte away the crome throughout. Shiny nonsense doesn’t belong on a utility vehicle, period.
    6) Get rid of the “pull out tray” on the back of the vehicle. Any guy who uses this “truck” for real work will snap that gimmicky piece right off.

    If Toyota cleans up these design mistakes, they might have a winner. Of course, they’ll probably just build it looking almost the same, and turn out another soft crossover who’s form belies its function. If you compare the nonsensical designs and questionable build of US Toyotas to the rest of the world’s current supply of authentic, purpose-built Land Cruisers, it’s pathetic.

    Here’s hoping Toyota delivers us a real Ute. I for one won’t hold my breath, though.

  4. Dave H says:

    Bottom lines:
    Canadian cash price close to $28K or less!
    Passing capabilities on the highway at least equivalent to a Prius
    40+ mpg highway
    high city mpg comparable to Prius with hybrid only drive capabilities of 52 to 60km/hr ( 32 to 40 mph) and 1000 to 1500 pound towing capacity to pull a small fishing boat or quad/motorcycle/utility trailer
    These are rural and urban needs.
    Add plug-in charge capabilities for short commuters and you will have a vehicle that everyone can afford to drive and will pay a slight premium to own,
    Please Toyota build this vehicle.
    I will gladly test market it in the Okanagan, B.C./ Canadian winter