DETROIT -- Suburbanites who haul themselves to work in the city, and haul stuff home from the hardware store, are the target buyers Toyota had in mind as it created the A-BAT hybrid pickup concept.
The A-BAT will be one of Toyota's two unveilings at the Detroit auto show in January.
The A-BAT is smaller than the Toyota Tacoma pickup and has a four-foot bed. But the concept uses tricks such as a sliding roof panel and fold-down mid-gate to be capable of carrying tall loads or the truck manliness standard of the four-by-eight-feet sheet of plywood.
For more storage, there are lockable drawers in the walls of the truck bed and a large drawer that slides out from underneath the truck bed.
The A-BAT rides on a unibody platform, a departure from standard pickup procedure.
Styling is marked by a thick C pillar, and wheels pushed to the corners of the truck's footprint. The truck's design comes from Toyota's Calty studio in California.
The A-Bat's shape was inspired by the silhouette of the Toyota Prius, Calty Project Creative Director Matt Sterling said in a statement.
Also inspired by the Prius is the concept truck's powertrain--a four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to Toyota's hybrid system.
Inside the A-BAT are seats for four. But the rear pair of seats can fold down, or slide into a storage compartment to create extra cargo room. The top surface of the instrument panel is lined with solar power cells to generate electricity for the concept's portable navigation system.