Drip, drip, drip...do I hear a leak? Oh yes, the gents over at InsideLine.com went public with their advance copies of Toyota's A-BAT Concept press materials a little early. Set to make its public debut at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in three weeks, the A-BAT seems to ride this continuing wave of hybrid hype in a new vehicle which appears to be a contradiction in terms.
Similar to other “rugged” vehicles with hybrid power plants, the A-BAT concept targets consumers with active lifestyles who will hardly ever venture beyond the burbs or inner cities, hence the forward-looking modern design dubbed “Vibrant Clarity” as drafted by Calty, Toyota's North American-based design center, Project Chief Designer Ian Cartabiano and Creative Designer Matt Sperling. However, the A-BAT compact truck is not about heavy duty use such as off-roading or hauling a horse trailer. The A-BAT is about accommodating active lifestyle folks who want comfort, functionality of a flat bed and feature rich interior but without the gas guzzling inefficiency of most pup trucks. Cruising around town or taking extended highway trips to the local national park for the occassional camping or mountain biking excursion is the primary objective, and the A-BAT is the first of its kind to address this genre of the market.
In addition to Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system the lightweight truck comes with lots of trick features such as translucent solar panels on the dash which recharge a portable power pack and retractable portable navigation unit with a seven-inch diagonal screen and Wi-Fi internet, translucent roof panel which slides open and a four-foot bed with large sliding drawer beneath.
Check the press release below for more details and features. Big up to PickUpTruck.com for the video.