4-cylinder gas/electric hybrid
(from Toyota Press
Release) Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., returns
to its compact pickup truck roots with its latest concept vehicle
A-BAT. The environmentally advanced A-BAT provides modern
versatility, roominess and style in a compact pickup architecture.
The A-BAT will be on display at the Toyota exhibit in Detroit at the
2008 North American International Auto Show beginning Monday, Jan.
"Driving from beyond the suburbs to the city is a way of life for
many people," said Kevin Hunter, president, Calty Design Research,
Inc. "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."
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. Together, they identified a
buyer group whose unique combination of lifestyle activities and
vehicle needs required a vehicle that as of now is not available in
the market place. The team created a new genre of compact vehicle
with good fuel economy, advanced functionality, maneuverability,
unique styling within its segment, and a durable package suitable
for an active lifestyle. Advanced styling was also key in making the
A-BAT appropriate for today's market.
The A-BAT concept rides on a unibody platform for car-like handling
when navigating city streets and crowded parking lots, and smooth
ride quality for highway trips and the everyday commute. In
addition, its lightweight package coupled with Toyota's Hybrid
Synergy Drive technology is designed to deliver excellent fuel
economy. Translucent solar panels in the top surface of the
instrument panel capture sunlight and convert it into energy,
showcasing the vehicle's "green" character.
Positioned below the Toyota Tacoma, A-BAT integrates truck features
with car fundamentals for an efficient and modern package.
The A-BAT's unique aerodynamic exterior was crafted by Calty Project
Chief Designer Ian Cartabiano and Creative Designer Matt Sperling.
They integrated Toyota's design philosophy, "Vibrant Clarity" into
the exterior by keeping the design forward-looking, crisp and
The concept's unique look is a combination of the large body
surfaces, intersecting tight surface planes, crisp lines and the
trapezoidal profile. The A-BAT's 19-inch wheels sit at the vehicle's
corners creating a tough and ready stance.
"We studied the 'trapezoid' silhouette from the side profile of the
Toyota Prius and applied it to create an entirely new truck image,"
said Sperling. He further enhanced the trapezoidal profile by
placing the cab forward, and using fast angle A- and C-pillars,
shortened overhangs, and a sleek front window.
"The bold grille showcases Toyota's reverse trapezoid and T-face
theme in a new way," explained Cartabiano. "The bed is defined by
the C-pillar and is clearly separated from the cab to allow it to
stand out from the rest of the profile."
"The image of a NATO all-terrain military truck inspired us to keep
the occupants as far forward as possible to maximize rear bed
capacity in this compact package," stated Sperling.
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. The
A-BAT offers customers the versatility of hauling a standard 4x8
sheet of plywood one day, then taking a family on a camping trip to
the lake the next.
The bed has features perfect for work and play. These include
tailgate lighting for illuminating the load in the bed, a first aid
kit and flashlight integrated into the tailgate, sliding tie downs,
and an AC power outlet. Items such as sports and leisure equipment
can be stored in the lockable drawers in the bed walls. The concept
also has additional storage that is accessible through sliding doors
conveniently placed in and outside of the truck bed. For even more
storage capacity the A-BAT comes with a large sliding drawer beneath
the bed, accessible without opening the tailgate.
Although the A-BAT is rugged and has a spirited exterior, the
interior team worked to create a modern look for the interior.
"We balanced colors and fabrics that were both bright and vibrant,
but also captured an urban-rugged feel with their energetic and
geometric qualities," said Alan Schneider, Project Chief Designer.
"The inspiration behind the exposed structure on the interior was
drawn from high-end mountain bike frames," added Daryl Harris,
Senior Creative Designer. "We applied lightweight construction
materials, such as carbon fiber and aluminum, to the instrument
panel, console and seats for increased structural rigidity while
The rigid, yet sculptured alloy center console runs between the two
front seats and houses a portable power pack. The battery pack
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.
The door trim, shoulder, armrest and instrument panel pads and seat
cushions are made of a tough, lightweight and comfortable material
that can be selected for personalization. In addition the colors are
coordinated to enhance the sleek interior environment. The center
console and door pockets feature carbon fiber components to complete
the durable and modern look.
The four-passenger A-BAT offers numerous seating and storage
configurations. In addition to the rear seats folding down with the
midgate to extend the cargo bed length, the rear seat cushions can
retract beneath the cargo bed to increase rear cab cargo
flexibility. A removable storage tray beneath the rear seat offers
tie downs and organizing compartments to secure loose cargo.
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.
Both the driver and front passenger have a large multi-information
display screens on the IP to view the status of their high tech
gadgets and HVAC and audio settings.
The solar panels on the dash recapture energy from the sun to assist
in the charging of the navigation unit, portable power pack and
backlit information displays.
"This concept is the next evolution of the compact truck," said
Hunter. "We were able to create a compact truck that's utilitarian,
has an original profile compared to other pickup trucks, has a
'small, but tough' character and is economical to operate. The A-BAT
is a fun-to-drive, practical package that reflects Toyota's
environmental sustainability message."
TOYOTA A-BAT CONCEPT PICKUP TRUCK
- PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
Four cylinder gas engine with Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive
Overall Length: 181.3
Overall Width: 74.4
Overall Height: 64.0
Bed Length: 48.0
Bed Length with Midgate down: 72.0
Bed Length with Midgate and Tailgate down: 96.0
Wheel Size: 19-inch