Confirmed: Toyota Could Consider Prius-Based Pickup Truck

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Auto shows are a great place to get rumors--or even wild fantasies--confirmed. (Or, occasionally, dismissed contemptuously--but that's a different story.)

Following today's Toyota press conference that introduced the Prius V multipurpose vehicle that will go on sale as a 2012 model, and unveiled the Prius C concept for a compact hybrid to be launched next year, another possible Prius permutation proved to be a pickup.

Diligent reporter and beyond-fanatical pickup-truck enthusiast Mike Levine interviewed Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Motor Sales USA. He confirmed that the company hadn't ruled out a pickup truck with a hybrid powertrain.

2012 Toyota Prius V launch press conference, 2011 Detroit Auto Show

2012 Toyota Prius V launch press conference, 2011 Detroit Auto Show

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Four years ago, Toyota showed the Advanced Breakthrough Aero Truck (A-BAT) concept, breaking new ground by putting a hybrid-electric powertrain into a four-door smaller pickup truck.

Though considerably more daring in design, the Toyota A-BAT was closest in spirit to the current Honda Ridgeline: a four-door, unibody

While the A-BAT concept was well received, economic recession ended any immediate development plans. Now, Carter said, a Prius pickup could be considered. "It’s not off the table," he told, "but nothing is decided at this point.”

Would you consider driving a Toyota Prius pickup truck? What would be the pros and cons? Tell us what you think in the Comments section below.

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Comments (13)
  1. The only way I can see an Atkinson engine in a pickup truck is if it part of an EREV drivetrain. They just don't produce enough torque to provide the utility people expect from trucks.

  2. I would buy 3. One for personal use and two for my small business.

  3. In stead of an Atkinson engine, instead use a turbodiesel which should solve the torque issue.

  4. Von, you can check out Via Motors at - they are using Raser's in wheel motors to create a real electric propulsion truck.

  5. I'd buy one today, especially if it had optional plug-in 50 mile range like the Volt.

  6. Man and I just bought a Prius. Wish I would have read this a couple weeks ago. Although, I'm sure this is many years off from really happening. The Prius I have now will probably be on it's last leg. I might be good.

  7. I've been searching for the perfect utility vehicle like it was the fountain of youth for years and years. I started to believe it didn't exist, but this news has me excited that it may be built!
    A perfect utility vehicle for me would be good for carrying people (more than 2), stuff, and saving gas on my commute.
    If this thing ever reaches production with more than 35mpg, I'm in love, and in line to purchase it. Just this and my old boxster and I'm one happy driver!

  8. I would trade in my SUV for something like this. Hopefully Ford will launch a F150 plug in hybrid.

  9. Turbo diesel + hybrid = win. I won't get excited about a car or truck until this happens.

  10. Mitsubishi built the GR-HEV - a full-size plug-in diesel hybrid pickup truck concept. As far as I know, Mitsubishi hasn't announced any plans on building it although they are planning on delivering a with a plug-in gasoline hybrid Outlander.

  11. I would love a pickup based on the A-BAT but I would prefer a turbo engine with RWD or AWD. Tht most recent update/rumor is that a 2014 A-BAT will be built by Scion with FWD and an AWD option.

  12. Well, so much for that rumor. The 2014 model year has arrived and still no compact pickup available in NA and no promises from any OEM to build one. The closest thing we have to a compact pickup are the new Colorado and Canyon pickups scheduled for delivery for the 2015 model year. The bad news - these trucks are larger than mid-size pickups, reported to be 90% the size of a full-size pickup. The good news - GM has promised to provide a four-cylinder diesel option for the 2016 model year.

  13. Oh yeah, we also have the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier

Commenting is closed for old articles.

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