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Next Toyota SUV: Nice to meet U2

2014-09-15 11:33

TOYOTA'S U2 REVEALED: Toyota has unveiled a concept car, called the U2, aimed at urban entrepreneurs. Image: Toyota

PALO ALTO, California – Toyota’s California designers have created a vehicles for the American entrepreneurs - the Urban Utility U2.

'Do-it-yourself' is enjoying a big revival in American cities, where a new breed of entrepreneur is taking a can-do approach to urban regeneration.

Toyota’s Calty design studio in California has researched the movement by speaking to people attending the hugely popular Maker Faires across the country and has used their views to help create a new small SUV, the Urban Utility concept car – U2.


The automaker says the U2 concept has an open architecture and is made from "robust materials that reflect a no-nonsense urban style."

"It has practicality built-in, with a roll-back roof and a tailgate that can be folded down to create a ramp. A rail system makes it easy for owners to customise the interior just the way they want it."

IMAGE GALLERY: Toyota U2 concept

Calty president Kevin Hunter said: “Toyota saw an opportunity for a new approach to an urban vehicle, based on the increasing re-urbanisation of our cities, and on urban drivers’ desire for flexibility, fun and manoeuvrability."


The Calty team conceived U2 as a flexible, functional gadget, drawing their inspiration from modern entrepreneurship and Americans’ traditional love of adventure and outdoor pursuits that involve plenty of gear and equipment.

Toyota claims its U2 concept needed to be adaptable for individual needs and is equipped with a retractable utility bar that, it says, "can do anything from hold a desk to provide hooks for shopping bags. The side windows flip up, so it’s easy to reach in from the roadside."

Other highlights include :

• Folding, removable front passenger seat
• Fold-up rear seats
• New shift design with an intuitive switch for park, drive and reverse
• New colour and trim material choices

The U2 is the size of a compact SUV but has the functionality of a bakkie and the spaciousness of a cargo van. Toyota says the U2 is easy to "manoeuvre, load and unload".


Toyota’s U2 concept  features a durable underbody and bodywork  which comes with customisable side panels. The details feature chunky proportions and circular door handles.

Exterior highlights include:

• Retracting roof panels
• Opening rear glass that slides into the tailgate
• Drop-down tailgate that forms a load ramp
• Replaceable protective ridges on the tailgate

The U2 will make its public debut at the World Maker Faire in New York City on the September 20/21.

Read more on:    toyota  |  california  |  concept  |  u2  |  new models

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