Cooky Concept From Magna Isn't a Pickup

Magna drop roof II

Normally we couldn't care any less about the Geneva International Motor Show, and from the looks of the Magna MILA Coupic concept vehicle, it's likely to stay that way. 

Some sources (like Motor Trend) are buying into Magna's press release that says this vehicle can even be used as a pickup truck because it has a midgate-like feature behind the back row that allows for a longer, flat-floor area. The roof can slide forward or back, creating an open cargo area. This "open cargo area" apparently is all that's needed to call this a pickup truck.

To the MT author's credit, he doesn't seem to take a full bite of the Magna press release as it drips with stretched truths. "This being a design study, the Magna MILA Coupic will likely never see production," he says.

The truth is we've seen several concepts and even real production vehicles (isn't this just a lousy Chevy Avalanche?) that have some of these same design and engineering elements, but they've ended quickly or not started at all.

The late '80s gave us the convertible Dodge Dakota; only about 2,500 were sold. Not that long ago, GMC tried the Envoy XUV, which tried to pretend to be a closable pickup truck with all sorts of complicated roof and rear-door mechanisms weighing down the rear end. GMC sold maybe 10,000 units in the single year it was on sale. Finally, the on-again, off-again Toyota A-BAT still isn't any closer to production. And we're not counting several other weird vehicles that could also be lumped into this group, like the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet and the BMW X6. (Why do either exist?)

What all of these have in common is an expensive roof system that typically prices the vehicle out of existence in a year or two, when someone at some point in the decision-making process should have killed the project before it got costly. We're all for special editions when they make sense and are done right. But projects like the Coupic, manufacturers take heed, should never see the light of day.

Still, if Magna wants to call it a pickup truck, that gives us one more reason to continue believing that Europe just doesn't understand what it means. Call it a convertible. Call it a crossover. Heck, call it a grand touring coupe if you want. However, the Magna MILA Coupic shouldn't be called a pickup by anyone from the media or the marketing side with an ounce of sense.

Magna Dodge Dakota convert 1989

Magna GMC Envoy XUV 2

Magna Toyota A-BAT 2

Magna rear

Magna side II


I've said this before, I'll say it again.
There comes a point where putting an open bed in a car, actually makes it a less practical vehicle with very little utility.

People need more interior space. In the form of seating for 4. That's why crew cabs have become so incredibly popular.

Putting in a convertible roof over a cargo area in the rear sounds like a really good idea actually and would make for a very practical vehicle with better handing, performance and fuel economy than a pickup (in theory). But only if it doesn't sacrifice the 4 doors, seating for 4 and interior cargo space.

AND, if and only if, there's actually a roof. Because a bed that's so short, it's not good for holding anything more than a house plant, you'd be better off with a regular enclosed hatchback or tiny minivan.

I'll give you an example. If you can fold the rear seats down in a Honda Civic, you can completely enclose a surfboard in the car. With that thing in those pictures, or for your average Toyota Tundra Crew Cab, your surfboard won't even fit in the bed, let along be encloseable.

My K-5 Blazer looked like a standard short bed pickup when I took the roof off, but I would never call it a pickup.
Consumer Reports picked the Avalanche for the best pickup? You can't blurr the lines on what a pickup is. There is too much history here to change the definitiion this far down the road. Fundamentally it has a bed that is separate from the cab. If not, it's something else. El Camino included.

Please clearify your statement the Crewmax Tundra has a 5-1/2' bed just like the F-150. If your comparing one of the vehicles above to the Tundra I am just going to assume that your one of those people trying to bash the Tundra by spouting disinformation about the 2nd gen Tundra.

lmao calling this a pickup truck i call it a mini suv

@Mark Williams - Keep up these great non-politically correct articles. We love them!

Kooky indeed!

Ha.. Gents the world is not always in black and white.

I'm driving a 2010 Ram Quad with a Hemi cause I love the way it feels and drives. Going to confess it's purely an endulgance and a guy thing cause maybe I've used my truck like a truck 5 times in the last 3 months. I figure that stupid endulgance cost me about $250 extra a month these days in fuel. No big deal right? but I do sometimes wonder why an otherwise sensable, practical and borderline minimalist type person like me makes this exception to drive around in a truck.. It complicated I'm sure.

Anyways.. I seriously see HUGE Value in a design like that of the Mila Coupic. Especially if wide enough to haul five 4x8 sheets of plywood or two dirt bikes. I understand it's not a pickup truck.. I understand it can't haul a 30 foot boat. Yeah I get it.

It's a sporty SUV with some surprising features that can (in a pinch) do some light Pickup duties... SO WHY NOT???

I would consider it. If they build it it should at least look like it has balls.

@ : 5.3L LOL

You know what they say about "assuming".

I own two Toyo pickups, one of which is a 2g tundra, from back when they made a truck that Toyo buyers would buy.

I'm envious of your extra interior space and seating for 5-6 morbidly obese Americans, although you have a 5 and half foot bed which is a joke. and I could not manage with that little cargo space nor do I see what it is useful for aside from hauling a few bags of cement.

You can't even put a surfboard in there like I used in my example although if you're not worried about it getting stolen, you probably have enough space on the roof.

No room for bikes or ATVs either. Certainly not big enough for work. A sheet of plywood would teeter totter far over the edge, requiring a safety flag.

Lets remember why you have a useless cargo box. It's because Toyo didn't want to build a bigger spray booth. Same as the rest of them though.


you should go to the compact trucks website. Hardly anyone wants a tiny small truck. Its great that you want to save money on fuel, but we as americans, want big trucks with big power and big capabilities. Your view is typically like a european. Our gas prices havent reached 8 dollars and we are not taxed for healthcare, healthcare is free.

All in all, you have a great point, but your in the very small majority my friend. Look at all the sales of the compact or midsize trucks combined and compare it to the sales of the f150. Why settle for something smaller, similiarly priced, less capable, and nearly as fuel thirsty? At least were getting the bang for our bucks while your getting............... ripped off?

You bring up the typical small truck arguement. Its too big, it wont fit in my driveway, i want to save gas, i dont need a full size etc....
I believe those are all horrible excuses considering that to only spend a few thousand more will get you much more a vehicle.

More on this. Over the last 10 years there are a few concepts that I prayed would be produced but were not.

- 2006 Rampage concept
- 2001 K5 concept
- 2009 Chevy Bare neccessities truck

Personally I like the width of a full size truck and the length of a midsize SUV.(About length of the new Cherokees) I'd like seating for 5. 3 feet of exposed bed, but 8 feet of flat bed surface with a midgate and taildown.

The only way to produce this truck is with a MIDGATE and a TAILGATE and to use both when hauling.

A feature that would also be awesome in my next truck/car/whatever is a Rambox like feature.

If I can get all this, about 4000lb towing, 300hp and 25mpg city .. all I would need is a bag of chips to close the deal.

Think I'm dreaming? Well I think that truck is coming and when it does it will break sales records for Ranger, Colorado and Taco combined in there best years :)

@Mark Williams Magna International is a very large Canadian Autoparts supplier and this is their concept It is not a European concept vehicle to be built in Europe. I think it is just that a technological demonstrator from the Company. I think as a design study it is going nowhere.

I wouldn't call it a truck either but I see where Cyberpine and Max are coming from. I could get by with something smaller than a full sized truck. I've had minivans and don't like the interior smelling like your last load. Okay if it is lumber but not okay if it's fertilizer or 2 muddy labs. I got a F150 because I liked the crewcab. There is plently of room for my family and 2 big dogs. I don't see much utility in a 5.5 foot box either.Another plus for the F150 is the 6.5 box. Pounding down rough roads with the tailgate down to fit a quad or dirtbikes isn't great for long term structural integrity of the box.
I think a midgate 4 door that was much more truck like than the Avalanche would be a decent start point.

@Max: Not everyone wants more interior space--they simply don't need it. That's one reason we still have 2-door pickups available. I'm 57 and I certainly don't have a need for a 7-seater oversized station wagon.

@Cyberpine: I agree in part; the only true pickup I'll ever buy in the future will be a Jeep Wrangler-based model like the '05 Gladiator or the export J-8 (and no, I don't mean the JK-8 conversion. I want a real 5'-6' bed.) On the other hand, as a kind of compact coupe/UTE concept, I actually like it. This thing would let me carry oversized loads in the bed area by simply sliding the fabric top forward (ref. Fiat 500 'convertible'.)

@Alister: Try not to assume you're speaking for all Americans; not all of us want a giant, gas-drinking road hog when our need for a truck is intermittent but still evident. I can't even go to my local home store to buy a freezer and bring it home because it simply won't fit in my car--and I drive a Jeep JK. Something like this where I have a usable bed and yet can still cover it aerodynamically is really a good concept and something I would find of interest--much like the Subaru Baja that, unfortunately, went out of production the year before I was ready to buy a new car--now a Jeep.

@Vulpine, I might be wrong but I don't think thats a fabric top on the Mila Coupic Concept. I think they are glass panels. Not sure how they seal. The top actually reminds of the Scion tc full glass roof. The tc is actually a very suprising little 2 door coupe. My friend (6'5) sat behind me (6'2) with no head or leg room issues thanks to reclining rear seats. What's interesting about Scion is they are apparently pursuing the Toyota A-bat concept pictured above. If the big three don't go after the US trucklet market Japan and Korea are going to grab it and I think it will be substantial.

If stuff doesnt fit in your vehicle, why did you buy it? jeesh.......

also, why buy trucks, one for hauling/towing, and the other for cruising.

No wonder so many are in debt, they don't get what they want and they cant afford it. Just think what makes more sense, fueling the huge full size and not worrying about anything, or being skimpy with a smaller vehicle and worrying that the rear end will fall off. If you havent learned already, you shouldnt try to pinch a penny anywhere, but you, much like me, are stubborn.

Full size trucks are made for any work in their class, so what if it eats up gas. Do you trust a jeep wrangler to do the same work as an f150? If you say yes, i automatically assume you are uninformed and thus your judgement has no merit.

@Allistar-I disagree. I see what cyberpine and Vulpine are saying. Let's say you have an older full size pickup that is not worth that much but has plenty of life left and you want to keep it for bigger jobs but at the same time you are ready to buy a new vehicle and lets say gas prices are $5 a gallon and going up. You want something smaller more economical but with the versitility to haul a small piece of furniture, a washing machine, or a piece of plywood and you want to drive this vehicle back and forth to work. An A-Bat or something on the lines would fit very well. I understand that maybe this would not be for you but to assume that all truck buyers should have your same opinions is not correct and to assume that everyone that has two trucks is in debt is erroneous. I own two trucks that are totally paid for. I bought an a new Isuzu Crew Cab 4 years ago but I decided to keep my low mileage 99 S-10 which was in perfect shape and paid off the day that I bought it new. I also paid cash for the Isuzu. After I was offered 3k in trade I decided to keep the S-10 and I am glad I did. Anyway if you use a small truck like th A-bat the rear end will not fall off unless you decide to haul trailers or loads above what it was designed for. Don't assume that everyone that owns a truck has your exact opinions. Truck owners are all individuals and should not be stereotyped.

@Allistar. I disagree. I have two trucks totally paid off the day that I bought them. I kept my old truck when I bought a new one 4 years ago because they offered me so little. I paid cash for the new one too. Maybe a truck owner needs to buy a newer vehicle but wants to keep their full size for towing or hauling heavier loads that they occassionally do. They want to buy a vehicle that is more versitile but can be used to commute to work in with better mpgs. I see this as a good alternative. If you do not want one that is your perogative but not everyone has the same opinion. And if you think that I am totally uninformed about trucks I drove trucks before they were cool (a flatbed 68 International with a tandem axel an a stepside 63 IH 1000 Pickup truck and both had manual transmissions and no power steering and no power brakes--neither of which were sissy trucks). Don't pretend to be the only one who knows something about trucks, I was raised with trucks.

If the cab is longer than the box its not a pickup either. I drive a pickup. Silverado extended cab with a 8' box

Quoting ..."GMC sold maybe 10,000 units (GMC Envoy XUV) in the single year it was on sale. "

Lousy research ..... the XUV was defintely sold from 2004-2006, and looks like it was also sold in 2003 and 2007.

@cyberpine: While I agree that there are glass panels in each section, looking at the folded top in the first image and a description elsewhere, it seems to be a Fiat-type top with semi-rigid folding points. The fact that the tops can move forward or back as needed to me is a huge advantage over most convertible/soft tops. I don't always like to wear a hat to keep the sun out of my eyes while driving--especially when the top is down.

@Alistar: You'd be surprised just how much I can load in that Jeep Wrangler, my man; but I can't haul a refrigerator or a tree in the back simply because of the convertible top blocking the tailgate area. The only way I could do so would be to remove the top entirely. That's why the Wrangler is an SUV, not a truck in the conventional sense. Yes, I could ask for changes in the model--I'd really like to see the 'Flip-n-Fold back seats instead of what the 4-door Wrangler currently carries; it'd give more flat floor space and it's not like 'flip-n-fold' is anything new. Station wagons had them 60 years ago.

As I stated before, I have no real need for a full-sized truck; I simply want the occasional ability to carry something that simply won't fit in my existing vehicle. A 4-foot wide bed that would allow me to carry full sheets of plywood (or boards, or extruded foam insulation or trees or etc...) while offering an aerodynamic cover and coupe/convertible cruising/economy driving is a huge advantage for those with only an occasional need for outsize hauling capability. My Jeep can pull a 3,000 pound trailer, but because I live in a townhouse I have no place to park said trailer securely or with any level of concealment from neighbors (HOAs are grief). A vehicle like this meets the need for a second vehicle, a more economical street cruiser and a light truck for that occasional load. It's also not going to be 23 feet long and sticking its nose/tail out into the driving lane of the street, either.

@Alistar: You really don't understand the appeal of a Jeep, do you? What other convertible (soft top) car can you buy where a replacement top costs a mere $500? What other convertible car can you buy that can go truly off-road; I don't mean simply driving old logging roads, but going places where only a four-wheel-drive vehicle can go--like those whale-sized trucks of yours--yet have the agility to squeeze between trees where that big truck can't go and simply have open-air fun as well? What other convertible car has four doors and can seat five comfortably and still carry camping gear--including tents--for those five people?

Simply put, there are things your big full-sized truck can do, and things it can't. Just as there are things my Jeep can do and your truck can't. The fact that you can buy a 4-door Jeep Wrangler for less than $25,000 and still have all that capability compared to the $30,000 plus for a hard-top-only road whale made the Jeep the better choice for me. I don't claim to have the same needs or desires as you. That doesn't mean I couldn't use a pickup bed on occasion, but it's the exception for me, not the rule.

With a rig like this I could have that ability to haul the unusual load and let me turn the Jeep into a fun-and-foul-weather-only vehicle. It's abilities on snow and ice have proven themselves to me over any other vehicle I've owned--including a D-50 equivalent Mitsubishi pickup back in the '80s. I don't want size. I don't want massive towing capacities. I don't need to haul a ton of stone (well, not often anyway). Simply put, I don't need a full-time truck. If I buy a Gladiator, I intend it to be fun as well as functional. But I won't buy any other truck-only vehicle. That's me.

Do I consider my Jeep equivalent to an F-150? No. Do I consider an F-150 equivalent to my Jeep? No. They're different vehicles for different purposes. Let me know when the F-150 gets a removable top over the cab; then I might consider one.

In the late 70's I had an International Scout Terra Pick-up, it was basicaly a Scout II with a longer frame, with a reg cab fiberglass roof, an 6.5' bed, I could take 8 small bolts out and the roff came off, and it was a convertable! it had a 345c.i.d. V-8 truck engine in it, just like in the school busses back then, with 4:10 detriot lockers front an rear, (I know because I was able to order it like that) plus I got it with a 5 speed granny low tranny. If I had lifted that truck it would be unstoppable, it just needed mor ground clearence. The sad part is the truck rotted out from under me in just 8 yrs! and I knew thay were bad, and I had it treated with something called Z-Bart rust proofing when it was new! But that was a realy sweet truck when it was new...

@sandman 4X4: Don't you wish you could get one of those today? Without the rot that is? I remember the old IH Scout, the original Blazer, RamCharger and Bronco. Quite honestly, none of those exist any more--they got smothered by the unreasonable desire for bigger, badder pickup trucks. Only the Wrangler even comes close to what those earlier rigs were--and it's almost three times the size of its original ancestor.

Very nice cars with a good space to place the tools..those are the tool boxes...

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