This slick little utility runabout is the Toyota Urban City Concept U2. Toyota’s Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, CA developed the Toyota Urban Utility Concept U2 as a packaging exercise to address future urban lifestyles. The massive DIY (Do It Yourself) movement and the need for something utilitarian for urban dwellers, inspired designers to build a small, efficient and incredibly flexible platform.
The Toyota Urban Utility Concept U2 could spawn an all-new niche in the automotive universe.
“Toyota saw an opportunity for a new approach to an urban vehicle based on increasing re-urbanization of our cities and urban drivers’ desire for flexibility, fun and maneuverability,” said Kevin Hunter president of Calty, Toyota’s North American design studio. “Calty keeps a number of projects concealed while exploring ideas and products. Revealing a project like the U2 gives people a window into the constant innovation that happens inside Toyota and our Calty studios and one possible future for urban mobility.”
Toyota’s press release says absolutely nothing about the Toyota Urban Utility Concept U2’s power-plant, capacities, specifications, “Bono” affiliation or possibility of production. That’s a shame; the idea, the concept of the Toyota Urban Utility Concept U2 has a lot of merit. There’s a multitude of consumers who need this type of utility without needed a van or pickup truck.
This is speculation, but the Toyota Urban Utility Concept U2 could have a variant of the Toyota Prius’ power-plant. If the capacity is increased, and the weight of the Toyota Urban Utility Concept U2 is kept under 3,000 lbs, perhaps its load capacity could top 1,000 lbs. Remember: this is all speculation.
“As more products are developed expressly to appeal to Makers and their deep appreciation of design esthetic combined with open architecture and practical utility, we expect to see more trusted brands like Toyota take an unconventional approach to not only product development but their marketing and launch strategies,” said Sherry Huss, VP and co-founder of Maker Faire. “Leveraging the growing Maker movement and Makers’ broad sphere of influence can impact the success of consumer brands and future products.”
One of the more intriguing aspects of this utilitarian concept is its interior. It has a versatile utility rail system configurable to hold everything from baskets to bike stands. You’ll have the ability to fold and remove the front passenger seat and fold-up (up and over to the side) rear seating – similar to the Honda Element’s rear seating.
- Roof panels that retract (and slide forward) to open
- Rear glass that can slide into the tailgate
- Tailgate that folds down into a ramp and level for extra load space for long items
- Protective, replaceable ridges on tailgate and side windows the swing up to open
The concept car will make its first public appearance at World Maker Faire in New York City on Sept. 20 and 21. A vehicle like this could bridge the gap between the onslaught of new, small utility vans, (like the Ram ProMaster City and Nissan NV200), minivans and hatchbacks.
If they can give it snappy performance in town and a reasonable price, this could be the ride for urbanites. Speaking of new Toyotas… ” title=”Nissan NV 200 pricing” target=”_blank”>Nissan NV200), minivans and hatchbacks. If they can give it snappy performance in town and a reasonable price, this could be the ride for urbanites.
Speaking of utility…