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

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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