Prius Pickup Possible, Toyota Says

Small Pickup Truck a Possibility to Join Toyota’s New Prius Family of Hybrids

Could Toyota’s shelved A-BAT hybrid compact pickup truck concept return as a member of Toyota’s newly announced Prius vehicle family? Something similar could happen, according to Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Division at Toyota Motor Sales USA.

Toyota announced its new Prius family of vehicles today at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. In addition to the current Prius hatchback and Prius plug-in hybrid, the all-new larger Prius V (the V stands for “versatility”) and the sporty Prius C concept vehicle were shown.

“Prius means high mpg, low environment impact,” said Carter, adding that a pickup truck could join the family “possibly, if it meets the criteria. It’s not off the table, but nothing is decided at this point.”

The Advanced Breakthrough Aero Truck debuted at the 2007 Detroit auto show as an all-new take on Toyota’s original compact pickup truck roots in the U.S. The A-BAT featured a hybrid powertrain, unibody construction and a small footprint for maneuverability and weight savings. A cab-forward passenger compartment maximized rear cargo space in the A-BAT's compact packaging.


Toyota paused efforts toward building a production version of the A-BAT in 2009 because of a number of market uncertainties at the time, Carter said.

If a Prius pickup were developed, it would slot under the current Toyota Tacoma and not replace it because some truck buyers still have a need for a smaller truck with traditional truck capability, Carter said.

“The pickup truck has been very volatile over the past few years,” Carter said. “We’re trying to understand what pickup truck consumers are going to want in the future. Right now with the Tacoma in the compact truck market, we have nearly a 45 percent market share. The consumer says for that truck market that they still want a rugged body-on-frame.”

But a hybrid small truck is still an opportunity worth exploring.

“We’re open and studying it,” Carter said.



That's a truck?? It looks very ugly! I`m all for trucks getting better economy but I still want a pickup to look like one. I want a real full frame pickup. Put the Honda Ridgeline and this thing in their own category, wanna be trucks!

Toyota should shelve the turdra too while they are at and then shelve themselves.

How about something that can actually do work, like a Hi-Lux diesel, for the US market instead?

Another failure in the works.

Freakin' Ugly!!!

Is Toyota oblivious to the dismal sales of the Honda Ridgeline and Subaru Baja? And I thought that the Mahindra was an eyesore?

@Living Farmville, I think they would love too as they make 500,000 to 600,000 worldwide each year. There would be things like chicken tax, having it built in the US, changing the diesel to suite US regulations, that have to be overcome. The best thing for Toyota to do is put the 3 Litre diesel in the Tacoma, but obviously for whatever reason, like other overseas and local US manufacturers they are finding it almost impossible to do .

@Living Farmville, not Playing it

You are spot on. We need a small diesel pickup in the US.

I don't think you guys really get it. Toyota has a past of vehicles running away and wrecks involving many many deaths... yet people are still flocking out to the dealerships to buy their product. It appears that anything with a Toyota logo on it, people are buying. You've got the ugly tacoma, ugly tundra... and it looks like this thing will fit right in.

If I wanted a little diesel, I would much prefer the LR/Jag twin turbo 3.0 V6 diesel in an F150. 270HP/440 lb-ft. Though it would probably cost $5k more than the EcoBoost V6, which gets 365/420, and would need to get 25mpg just to break even on fueling costs alone!

Ha Ha. What a joke.

Seriously? lol. Well, it's news other than Ford trucks this and that I guess. :)

Alex: the only reason you would "prefer" the LR/jag diesel is because you are a Ford fan and would buy nothing else if it was offered :)

And true, with the EB out, really don't need the diesel option anyway. The fuel costs would take too long to re-coop for the amount mileage a small diesel would get. The EB platform is the best thing in the USA as of late, unless people are willing to take a bit less power and torque with better mileage, then maybe a large 4 banger diesel would work, say a 2.6L or so. But a proky F150 is just too big and heavy now for a 4 cyl with how they have grown.

@ Red, if you are going to discuss peoples thoughts an intentions, be prepared to look like a fool when you are wrong.

Also Red, it's worth adding that Chrysler has never made its own diesel, it has always outsourced to Cummins, Mercedes, Volkswagen, and soon Fiat I guess.
The only noteworthy similar GM diesel is the European 2.9 V6 that was developed by VM Motori for the CTS (unveiled in 2008), which I don't think has made it to production.
Ford actually manufactures the 3.0L V6 right now, and it has roots back to 2004 with the 2.7, and it also produces a 4.4L V8 for the Range Rover.

Alex: Me look like a fool, I am on a computer typing. There is a difference, see you are faceless in an argument on the computer, simply a magical electrical code, I cannot "look" like a fool unless we are in person. See my point? Therefore, not taken personally.

Thanks for the link though..... I was poking fun at you anyway, but you proved me wrong....didn't change my feelings though, I am on a blog site. Blogs have no feelings. Pat yourself on the back. You regularly stream Ford talking points, so I "ass-u-me" you owned a know what they say about assuming :)

On teh article topic, that is an ugly concept.

I know Chry-co didn't make it. Truthfully, I could care less who makes what, I buy what I like at the time. I would "assume" you do the same, right?

I am torn between the "cheapness" of a Nissan Titan 4x4 KC SV (I think that is the sport one) for ~ 27K OTD right now, or a Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 with a hemi, but it is 5K more than the Nissan in my area, and Ford is out of my range, I refuse to pay their "negotiated" price.

Look, Ford doesn't "impress me" to be honest. They are another large company seeking profits for their shareholders, just like any other.

@Red, I know exactly what you mean by "assuming." I assumed you would know I was talking about "looking like a fool" figuratively and not literally... oh well. :) - I do own a Ford at the moment, but I am not brand stuck by any means.

This truck looks like it should be in "Tron".
Its looks leave me ambivalent.
Maybe the theory behind its looks is like someone buying a Pug dog - the thing is soo darn ugly that people think it's cute.
I have to give Toyota credit for looking at other options for the truck market.
The "dumbmestics" seem to care more about building big vehicles and we know how that turned out for them in the passenger car market.

Tron, LOL! Pretty cool movie.

At least Toyota is listening to us and will keep the Tacoma the same rugged body on frame unlike the big 3 that rarely listens like Ranger production, etc...

that's because only city folk are buying toyota ;)

It could find its niche if gas prices soar like they're supposed to starting this summer. Especially for people who just need a pickup for weekend utility instead of daily hauling.
With Dodge about to release a unibody replacement for the Dakota and now the ABAT being revived, they must be looking at reviving the small truck market. The Ranger actually sells pretty well for what it is, and it's a shame Ford's not going to sell it anymore
For that matter, I'd love to see a Subaru p'up. If the Baja were sold on a larger platform (Forester or Tribeca maybe) with Tacoma/Frontier/Ridgeline payload capability, it might still be around.
Since the Ridgeline was mentioned earlier... it sold pretty well at first. With a proper updating it could reach those numbers again. (yes, after owning an F150 and Silverado for 17 years, I got a used Ridgeline earlier this year as my 'weekend' vehicle. Don't knock it till you've tried it! (I know I'll get a lot of grief for that opinion on this website).
I'd love seeing these automakers breaking the mold and putting new things out in the marketplace.

Well I think that the prius is ugly but it sells so why not a cool prius truck. Toyota even thou most people on this forum hate them have become a huge auto maker because they build good quality vehicles that people want to buy. If Toyota does make this truck I am sure it will sell. My guess is that most people that comment on this forum are real truck guys and gals so I can see most of you not liking this vehicle.

@ kemo

you truly are blind huh. are you really confused by why people by toyota's? if by city folk you mean people that dont blindly buy a vehicle based on what their parents drove and actually want the best fit for their family not just a name badge that doesnt mean a thing anymore than yes i guess that makes ALOT of people "ciy folk". So many so in fact that even AFTER the voluntary recalls last year and media bashing that Toyota STILL remains the #1 RETAIL manufacturer, not only in the US but worldwide.

You simply never looked at anything else, and if that works for you than thats great......... But you kinda look foolish when you act as if the "majority" have no clue what they buying.

What a joke !!!

Ask a Prius owner,maint. costs are higher than an average sedan !

Toyota's quality,is known as the worst in the business..

Rust,engine failures,breaking glass,loss of steering,driveshaft failures,cracking tailgates..

Toyota sales were strong at the begining of 2010,after people realised they were rolling junkers,for the last 6 months sales were drastically down !!

You are an ignorant fool if you think Toyota is more reliable than a Ford,Dodge or GM product !!!

Especially hybrids,have no cost savings,they actually cost more to maintain than a gas powered vehicle !!

So here is a good question. Why when you go looking for a used Toyota car truck (doesn't matter) at a Chevy Dodge or Ford dealer do they always have a higher resale than the equivalent domestic truck/car? I guess people like buying rusty vehicles with broken glass.

@ toyota lol

AKA no hemi lol, hemi rules

you really are sad, since prius cost SO MUCH MORE look at this link to intellichoice about 5 year cost of ownership

OH, and maybe you want to compare cost of ownership of the prius to NON hybrid cars. so heres that one

as you can now PLAINLY see, the prius not only costs less it costs THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS less than ANY comparable sedan. you see if you had studied before you posted you would know that batteries never need replaced, the brakes last ALOT longer since they have regenerative brakes and there isnt ONE single belt under the hood, not one.

the only "ignorant fool" here is you, again trying to bash something you clearly know NOTHING about. if YOU think your ignorant posts are swaying anyone to buy something else then you sir/ or madam are sadly mistaken.


Not really true,depends on the trim level and original asking price and mileage....furthermore,imports usually have lower mileage,I can pick up a used 1 year old Camry for the same price as a 1 year old Fusion or Impala...or a Sebring for that matter,all depends on the trim level,accidents,fleet,rental car ect..

If you shop around imports not as pricey as you think...Alot of ignorant people believe they are ,so when they go to a dealer they do not negotiate a lower price for said import vehicle..they just pay the higher price..

I am a mechanic at a dealer,I see this all the time,this is how people are..I worked at 4 dealers in 17 years in 3 seperate states...It is the same from place to place,misconception and ignorance..I can pick up a year old 5,000 mile Camry Hybrid for $14,999...same price as a gas Fusion/Impala/Sebring..Alot of hype during the last few years ,hyping imports,and downplaying the quality of domestics by the media/journelists,remember anything American is popular to mock,say its junk,horrible place to live ect....I worked at a Toyota dealer and they actually put a higher price on the domestic cars than a domestic dealer with the exact same domestic model...

I was really busy repairing newer Toyota's at my last job,new low mile cars needing engines/tranny's were very common.moved to a lower tax state 9make more money now) Work at a domestic dealer for a couple years now and repaired 1 engine that was a warranty claim...only 1 in 2 years vs dozens in my previuos job in 2 years !


Try to argue the maint.costs when your precoius hybrid needs repairs that are not covered by warranty,I worked at Toyota,I know how expensive they are...Not just reading some b.s by assumption...Batteries do need replacement ,toyota added a 8 year warranty to the Prius because the batteries failed when cars were new.

Educate yourself,toyota fanboy..I repaired/worked for Toyota !!! Hybrid maint.costs are very expensive ! You amuse me with your ignorance !

ok domestic fanboi mr (toyota lol)

so since you know so much about them why dont you tell everyone what the cycle percentage is of the hybrid battery system? i'll tell everyone once you prove your a lube tech at a domestic dealer.

i'm in the Cincinnati region, when the gen 3 prius was launched the training team had tallied up how many batteries had been replaced at each dealer. they had been to 26 dealers before showing up at ours. only ONE dealer had replaced ONE hybrid battery. i've since seen my first at ours. OH that was an 01 prius. since i'm SO ignorant i'll let ya know i have passed all of the cerification classes the Toyota master diagnotic techs have to take for the prius. oh, and i'm not even a tech. while your letting everyone know how much you know about the prius enlighten us what the nominal voltage of the hybrid battery is, and tell us the voltage the step up transformers can create on the car. i'll be waiting, these should take you no time at all since you know so much.

The 8 year warranty on the battery was so that people who dont know about them can feel comfortable purchasing them. people like yourself should know why if your who you say you are so enlighten me smart guy.

PS i'm sure that intellichoice has no idea why they gave it SO many awards for being so low cost either.

oh yeah by the way toyota-lol

go to ANY auction house, you probably have heard of these since you claim to have been in the business for 17 years. at those auction houses you will find that ANY toyota will bring more money than ANY LIKE equipped domestic vehicle its SIMPLY a fact. maybe one you cant swallow but its fact. check KBB, edmonds, Truecar, Manheim (largest auto auction resource in the world ) they all agree and support this phenomenon that the Toyota sells for more money.

If you look at the little line on the intellichoice link i provided you then you would see that the prius depreciated $8,925.00 over 5 years the malibu depreciated $14,146.00 and the fusion depreciated $11,698.00. I'm NOT a rocket scientist but i believe that shows that the fusion loses 2700 more than the prius and the malibu loses 5200 more than the prius and BOTH of their hybrids lose MORE than that.

There always seems to be someone who claims to be a mechanic with insider information on Toyota
I know where Jimmy Hoffa is located!

Look at this link. It shows problems per 100 vehicles.
Industry average 155/100.

Ford 141/100
Toyota 133/100
average 155/100
GMC 165/100
Dodge 190/100

Everyone that I know with a Toyota has never had any of the problems listed by guys like yourself.

Mind you - I've rarely ever heard of any of the people I know ever have problems described by brand bashers of any stripe on this site.

I'm not denying that they exist.
I just find it hard to believe that if a problem is as wide spread as you and other guys describe- why haven't I heard of it from friends, family or colleagues?

@ Lou You have commented several times in the past that you do not trust GM quality because the Silverado and Sierra recieve different rankings for quality even though they are the same truck. I would like to extend your observation further. Page 3 of your link shows the PP100 vehicles for all the manufacturers. Lexus takes 4th while Toyota takes 6th spot. Not bad someone might say. So why does Scion rank 30th of 36. Scion is a badge engineered Toyota brand built with Toyota parts. Perhaps Oxi or Hemi LOL can enlighten us. That is a massive spread.

Buy American and you support america and your neighbors. Buy toyota and you support japan and people who really could care less about us since we beat em down pretty good in WWII. What country do you care about more? If toyota would of been in the same position as GM do you think the american government would of bailed them out??? If we just would of bought GM cars insed of toyota cars think of all that TARP money we could of saved??? Im a proud owner of a Lincoln. Wouln't drive anything but a GM or a Ford. support the country you live in, or live in the country you support.

If Toyota is so great why is there market share slipping month after month. There quality is junk, and there brand name is damaged forever. No one did this to them and its not a conspiricy. Its fact. they took there eye off of the ball for the allmighty dollar. A Pirus truck? come on, I would rather have a Ridgeline, at least that will have quality and it would hold together better, have less recalls than any Toyota built!

@hemi lol,Lou,

Yes,those auction houses sell fleet cars,rental cars,police cars and taxi's and mostly domestics are used as those,so on average at auction houses a domestic sells cheaper than an import because of those factors.
Also,domestics usually have higher mileage than an import,that too effects the resale value at the auction house !Especially if it was a fleet/rental/police car that effects the value of said vehicle.So on paper it is really confusing for the laymen on resale prices,they like you take that information and think it is a 1 owner low mile car vs another 1 owner low mile car,it is not the case.

Also,I am not a domestic fanboy,I own even own a Toyota product,as I worked for them for years...also have another import vehicle and a domestic truck ! All by different manufacturers !

Toyota has the most major issues,engines failing,rusty frames ect. Cant you not remember the recalls they had the past year ? Lexus/Toyota engines blew up !
I worked at a Toyota dealer for years.It's like every vehicle manufacturer,many people have no problems ever,some do !

I don't get the "forward cab design." The seating position appears to be in the normal place. Maybe they're talking about the more tilted front windshield design? BFD.

The backseat is nonexistant and the bed is miniscule. There are old El Caminos with the same cab area and yet have more bed loading capability.


But the vehicles I have personally noticed with more major issues,needing new engines ect when under 10k were Toyota's,as I worked for them,not reading about some fictational problem survey thats full of b.s !!
Lets take the worst on the so-called list Dodge...their engines/transmissions ect are rock solid reliable..Sure if they do have as many problems as are claimed its for wrong labels,burnt out light bulbs,brocken speaker,keyfob batteries failing not mechanical problems that leave you stranded ,as Toyota does..with a falling of driveshaft or engine failure as per Toyota recalls.
C.R ect. are b.s,they took the Ford Edge off the recommended list because of the navigation set up ! Not because it is unreliable !
Remember I live in the real world,work on them,I know their problems,I am not a Monday morning quarterback,reading some review,and then think I know everything.

I will say this ,my own evidence with my NEW vehicles I owned.Not used ones that were driven by someone else.

2003 Ford F-150 Lightning 12500 miles no problems,totalled and bought the Dodge.
I owned a 2004 Dodge Ram Hemi,no problems ever 120,000 miles.o.k 1 light bulb,4 tires,a brake job x2 (pads and rotors $200 fix) ! And a new battery,just to be safe as I drive alot at night.
Currently own a 2009 Cadillac Escalade EXT (truck) 24,000 and 0 issues ever came up,besides tires,brakes I drive fast and hard !
Currently have a 2002 BMW 745I 56,000 trouble free miles,wifes car.Tires,brake pads,battery,stereo speaker(she loves loud music)
Currently have a 2006 Lexus IS 350 (Toyota product),and it was a recalled got a letter from Yota and all,took it in to get fixed.The engine recall one with the valve spring (engine ,mechanical failure)The car now has 27,000 miles,and has new tires,brake pads and getting a battery this weekend,just to be safe.The car had no issues but the recall,who knows if would have been a problem down the road but,Toyota admitted there was a flaw,and most likely would of left the wife stranded as she rotates between the BMW and Lexus to go to work,I usually take my truck.She started to drive the Lexus recently again as she was scared of the random excelleration issues,and even myself I am kind of weary when driving it,since Toyota said there is a problem,but cant really find it.Car will probably now be tradded in for a Dodge Challenger R/T my wife and I love that car.We wanted a Mustang GT but the Challenger drives so,much better than the Stang...Glad we didnt get it,this past summer.
As for resale values,I cant attest to the fact they are not giving me a boat load of money for my Lexus,as this past summer we tried to trade it in for a new Mustang GT,and we would still have to pay over $12,000 on top !(my cars are all paid off,no liens ect.) So no way their values are the greatest,on paper yes,reality NO ! With my mileage it should be a $20,000 +car,they were giving me less than $10,000 For it ! I knew I wouldnt get an even trade but c'mon a low ball like that.I have it listed locally,but after the engine issue I really dont want the car and my wife doesnt really trust it enough to drive comfortably anymore.

I like the design/style, but the cost of a hybrid is rediculous, especially when the diesel hilux (or a diesel tacoma) would be much more accepted and still efficient. The cost of a hybrid option will buy a lot of gas!

The term "Useless As Tits On a Boar Hog" comes to mind here .

@ Jordan L -
You raise an interesting point in relation to durability and quality among Toyota, Lexus, and Scion.
I'm taking an educated guess that QC is higher with the upscale Lexus brand, average with Totota and lower with Scion.
Ford has a similar trend where Lincoln, and Mercury rate higher than Ford.
Cadillac also rates higher than GMC.
The only other assumption is that the models that Lexus use to "rebadge" rate higher in durability ratings to begin with.
I appreciate the challenge on my post - I personally hate inconsistent arguments and would hate to fall into the same trap.

@ Toyota LOL - my apologies for hammering you hard. Too many guys come on this site as self proclaimed experts.
I have never encountered the problems you state as virtually everyone I know own a Toyota or Lexus product as well as domestic products.

I don't blame you and your wife for being worried about unintended accelleration.
My wife and I were worried about it at first but my reseach proved that it wasn't a big deal.
Here are a few links in that regard:

U.S. regulators have tracked more deaths in vehicles made by Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC and other companies combined than by Toyota Motor Corp. during three decades of unintended acceleration reviews that often blamed human error.

This last one had some interesting points about the Firestone tire fiasco, Toyota and Audi.


Go away with your lies and fabrications!

Your a Toyota HATER, so no-one is listening to you or others like you!

Toyota is a solid company with solid products, your just JEALOUS of them and that's why you resort to the teenage childish rants and responses.


Uh, called it! :-)

We ran an article about the possibility of this truck back in September. Of course, all we did was report what Automotive News ran...

Very cool to see Toyota hint about this possibility.

@ toyota lol

well you just proved the lexus is as reliable as your two other vehicles. so they had a flaw that
A. they found and exposed
B. contacted you to have you fix it.
C. paid for it
D. and didnt deny that there was a problem

You also say that they have a problem and they dont know the answer to, that is PLAIN FALSE. the FACT is there IS NO PROBLEM at all. only thing your lexus had done to it was SIMPLY make more room between the pedal and the floor so people who arent paying attention to there cars (and honestly are probably unsafe on the road) would have a MUCH tougher time getting their pedals jammed up with the extra mat, carpet remnant from the house and a towel on top of that. YES, i've seen this more times than i care to count.

and i REALLY dont want to be the stick in the mud but if you take 2 cars, with the same amount of owners, mileage damage ect. ect. ect. ect. ect. and one is a chevy, ford, or chysler and one a toyota and you put it in an auction the toyota will sell for more money EVERY single time. its just how it is. an auction house is how dealers stock their used car lots, this is not a mom and pops bankruptcy auction your thinking of. NORMAL cars from lease turn ins, repos, cars that dealers didnt sell in the time they needed to go through these auctions.

and on a final note; engines and transmissions on chrysler products are the FURTHEST thing from "rock solid". they have the MOST problems of any manufacturer, the only way they could be described as "rock" is if you needed to sink something in a lake. ok, thats a little harsh but come on, you really think they are more reliable than a toyota? remember they were the FIRST to offer a 70k and then 100k warranty and THEN offered the "lifetime warranty" on powertrains because people didnt TRUST the powertrain in them.

TOYOTA-LOL: "Ask a Prius owner,maint. costs are higher than an average sedan !"

My wife's Prius has 125k miles on it, and it actually has the lowest maintenance cost of any car I've owned or helped maintain. So far, the only things I've had to do to it (beyond wear items like tires) is swap some headlight bulbs.

It's been the most reliable car I've ever owned/maintained. It even beat the Honda Accords/Civics in the family, and handily beat the Ford Tempo and Ranger I've owned on maintenance costs.

It's also efficient and has great use of interior space. It's comfortable to drive. It's not exciting, but it is practical.

The Prius isn't the perfect car for everyone, and it has a few oddities (such as the headlights being tricky to replace, and a motorcycle-sized starter battery that is in an odd place). But, as a dily transportation appliance and grocery cart, it's really really hard to beat. The TCO has been really really awesome since we've held on to this car so long. And the KBB value of the Prius is still 1/3rd of what she paid for it new.

Yes, you said to ask a Prius owner. There's the answer you'll get.

and there you have it folks, Luke in Illinois just set the record straight. thanks for your input sir ;)

The comments to this entry are closed.