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Toyota concept breaks bakkie mold

2007-12-31 08:31
Leaked weeks before its global debut at the Detroit Motor Show, Toyota's A-BAT concept gives new meaning to the term "classy bakkie"...

Apparently designed to appeal to active urban types who would seldom take their cars off road but wouldn't mind the practicality of a 4X4, the A-BAT is developed by the manufacturer's North American design and research centre.

While the load bay is shorter by conventional standards, this can be extended by folding the rear division into the cab to accommodate longer items. A sliding roof panel also allows for taller items to be stowed in the cab.

Other features include tailgate lighting, sliding anchors, lockable drawers along the side of the load bay and a large sliding drawer beneath the load bay that can be accessed without opening the tailgate.

The double cab is said to exhibit car-like handling, largely thanks to its unibody platform.

The interior architecture is inspired by mountain bike frames and features a combination of carbon fibre and aluminium.

In addition, solar panels on top of the instrument panel power charge the navigation unit, portable power pack and backlit information displays. The AC/DC battery pack is capable of powering power tools, laptop computers and small appliances.

And while no engine or performance details have been made available, A-BAT uses Toyota's petrol-electric Hybrid Synergy Drive technology to return "excellent" fuel consumption figures.

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