• Feb 11, 2008
click above for a high-res gallery of the Toyota A-BAT concept

We've harped on the fact that this market is ready for a small truck that splits the difference between full-sizers of today and compact pickups of yore. While many in the industry are skeptical about whether such a vehicle could be a sales success, Toyota is looking hard at the A-BAT concept, which debuted in Detroit as a vehicle that could slot in below the Tacoma.

Toyota execs are keeping a close eye on how the public responds to the hybrid trucklet while it makes the rounds of the national show circuit, and hopes that it garners the same amount of interest that the FJ Cruiser concept did, which was instrumental in bringing it to market.

While it's debatable that a hybrid truck sporting some of the high-tech features and unibody structure of the A-BAT is a viable product, the idea might be sound, and Toyota wants to be at the forefront of the small truck revolution if it does come to fruition.

[Source: The Car Connection]




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 46 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      DODGE RAMPAGE - Google this one and look at how much better the packaging looks! It was done many years ago and IMHO pulled it off much better! Toyota, you have the right idea but try to incorporate less fugly into the mix... To me this looks like the prius of trucks; it was made intentionally ugly so everyone that sees you driving one knows how socially conscious you are! Give me a break… build a much toned down version of this with great gas mileage and people will fall for it like guano from A-BAT!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Most people that drive these monster trucks have no need for them, but this is kind of cool, as long as you don't look at the front of it. Like some kind of space car for offroading on Mars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As long as it's not as ugly as that thing it'll be a good idea.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ugh, not this again...

      Listen, automakers of the world! NO ONE WANTS A CRAPPY PICKUP TRUCK! You buy a pickup truck because you a) want to haul butt and show off the red tan on your neck, or b) you want to actually carry/tow a very heavy load. There is not inbetween. Both have one solution: overkill chassis and beefy engine. Basically, don't bother selling it unless it can tow 6000 pounds MINIMUM or carry 2500 pounds MINIMUM. If it can't do that, it's not a damned pickup truck!
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's a bit extreme for someone wanting to tow a small trailer loaded up with a snowmobile or some other small thing. 6000 lbs is much more than most people would need or want to tow (due to the mileage posed by such a motor). All that being said the a-bat is a pretty ugly truck. Make it look better and there will a nice in the marketplace for it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Ranger sells, on an ancient platform and with much more limited capabilities than you describe. It sells primarily because it doesn't have any less-ancient competition, most of the other "small" pickup trucks have moved up the size/price ladder and don't offer a great alternative to a low-end full-sizer.

        While I think the A-BAT is bat guano, I do think that a decent modern small light-duty truck would find a big market, especially if it got reasonable fuel economy. Those looking for penis compensation or who have heavy work to do can still pop for the thirsty full-size.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They should re-name this the Scion fX. I would be the first in line to buy this as long as this comes in under $18k and gets 30+mpg.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There is no way you could see anything out of the rear view interior mirror. The windows are too small and the tailgate comes up too high. I mean, I never see a Ridgeline on the road, so Toyota's going to make a smaller version of it and try to lead the new small-truck revolution? I would hope Toyota was a little smarter than that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've owned my 2002 tacoma since new. I freaking love that truck. after 113k miles and tens of thousands of pounds of hauled cargo, it's never let me down.

      that being said, I would NEVER buy a new Tacoma. They are as big as the old Tundra, which (jn my opinion) is just too big for a daily driver vehicle. And the fact that the truck is 1/3 bigger with 1/4 more horsepower and the same 20mpg irritates me. why can't they just build me a smaller pick up with the same 190 hp that gets 28-30 mpg? There are lots of people who WORK FOR A LIVING
        • 6 Years Ago
        They do make a smaller Tacoma that gets good mileage, it's called the regular cab with the 4 cylinder.

        The really stupid thing about the Tacoma is they took all that width and wasted it on decorative wheel flares so the actual bed is just 41.5" between the wheels. Nevermind plywood, even a small ATV is a real tight squeeze and many of them won't fit.

        The T100 was half an inch wider on the outside and 8" wider in the bed.

        The Frontier is two inches narrower on the outside and 3" wider in the bed.

        What was Toyota thinking?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like the idea, like the truck design, like the midgate plus four-foot bed plus drivetrains. If it can tow three-thousand pounds and haul maybe twelve-hundred I'd like it. However, the windows need to be made larger, the look needs to be made refined and the engine needs to be reconsidered--I don't know if it's got enough power, and hybrid is expensive. The price needs to be kept at least under $27K, which is right now about what a typical 4wd crew cab costs. I doubt it would sell more than maybe 25 thousand copies a year, but who knows. Right now I like the Chevy Colorado's big 4 cylinder crew cab the best of the designs I've seen. It just needs a six-speed automatic instead of the four-speed for improved fuel efficiency and I'd buy one. I'm looking for 22 mpg overall EPA-same efficiency as my mother's four-cyl Ford Escape. First crew to break that barrier wins it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "We've harped on the fact that this market is ready for a small truck that splits the difference between full-sizers of today and compact pickups of yore."

      WTF? That's a perfect description of the midsize pickups on the market *right now*.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So, how exactly does the huge ride height and truck-like front end aerodynamics contribute to its high mpg?

      A G8-ST (with comparable length) kind of design just seems more efficient to me. Why do you have to give up aerodynamics and c.g. to get a bed?
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      you guys really like that?
      i'm getting "old and set in my ways" way to fast.
      too futuristic movie for me.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree. I guess the Ridgeline wasn't ugly enough...
        • 6 Years Ago
        This truck is fugly beyond all reasoning.

        And splitting the difference between trucks of yore and today? That is the PROBLEM with current small trucks!

        The perfect small truck would be the size of the early 90's Mazda pickups, with a little 4x4 action and a small displacement turbo diesel.

        It doesn't need a nav system, or surround sound or a small V8. It just needs to be able to do the light hauling most households would like to do yet return adequate gas mileage. Oh, and manual too please.
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