Jan 21, 2011


We’ve seen and heard a lot about hybrid and electrified vehicles coming from the 2011 North American International Auto Show, but I doubt anyone expected to hear news regarding the possibility of a “Prius-powered” pickup truck to be included in the mix.
But alas, it was…thanks to the ever curious Mike Levine of Pickuptrucks, speaking to Bob Carter, group VP and general manager of the Toyota division of Toyota Motor Sales USA. In fact, Carter directly addressed the possibility of yet another Prius variant to join the rapidly expanding family of hybrid vehicles coming from Toyota. Hit read more for details.
Going back four years nearly to the day, Toyota revealed the Advanced Breakthrough Aero Truck, or A-BAT, which was a unibody pickup truck concept with a hybrid drivetrain. If Toyota were to move forward with development of a pickup powered by a Synergy Drive hybrid drivetrain, it would likely follow very closely to the platform of the A-BAT due to its weight savings and increased aerodynamics.
After revealing the concept back in 2007, Toyota actually began work on creating a production A-BAT before later putting the project on indefinite hold due to financial constraints at the automaker. Now, it seems, Toyota is at least contemplating reviving the project, although Carter pointed out some concerns that must first be addressed, “The pickup truck has been very volatile over the past few years.”
Carter went to say that the Tacoma already owns 45 percent of the market right now, and Toyota is also facing the issue that market research suggests most compact pickup buyers still desire a body-on-frame design, not the unibody design that would allow for more Prius-like fuel economy. In closing, Carter offered, “We’re open and studying it.”
Should Toyota decide to bring the A-BAT to market, expect a delay of at least two years from now before consumers can add a Toyota hybrid pickup to their list of options.

[Technorati Tags: , , ]

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...