Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) will introduce a hybrid compact pickup truck concept—the A-BAT—at the 2008 North American International Auto Show which opens in Detroit 14 January.
Positioned below the Toyota Tacoma, the A-BAT concept rides on a unibody platform and combines a four-cylinder gasoline engine with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive. Translucent solar panels in the top surface of the instrument panel generate power to assist in the charging of the navigation unit, portable power pack and backlit information displays.
The A-BAT concept was developed by the TMS Advanced Product Strategy group and Calty, Toyota’s North American-based, research and design center located in Newport Beach, Calif.
We’ve taken Toyota’s truck heritage to a different level by envisioning a vehicle capable of maneuvering the suburbs as well as dirt roads. This compact truck is as comfortable for long commutes as it is for road trips. It can accommodate outdoor toys and home improvement supplies. Plus, customers benefit from the hybrid powertrain’s low emissions and fuel economy.—Kevin Hunter, president, Calty Design Research, Inc.
The A-BAT features a four-foot bed, but has more flexibility than the standard pickup truck. A translucent roof panel slides open to allow for tall cargo in the cab. When the pass-through midgate is folded down into the cab the bed lengthens an additional two feet. An open tailgate provides an additional two-foot of bed length.
A rigid center console houses a portable power pack that offers both AC and DC for a wide variety of applications including powering tools, electrical gear while camping, a laptop computer, small appliances or assisting a vehicle jump start.
Inside the A-BAT has a retractable portable navigation unit with a seven-inch diagonal screen and Wi-Fi internet. Other advanced features include a port for portable device assistant synchronization and a hard drive for digital music.