Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Toyota | posted February 18, 2016 09:47
Toyota Urban Utility Concept makes global auto show debut
As Toyota continues to innovate and create more fun vehicles for consumers, they also keep it fresh and new with unique ways of responding to the needs and wants of different car buyers.
Announced as a concept in 2014, Toyota’s Urban Utility Concept officially makes its worldwide auto show debut at the 2016 Canadian International Auto Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
This unusual looking concept is a combination of features that can be found in a utility van, truck and a passenger car. It was inspired and designed for people of the working class, the budding entreprenuers that desire a vehicle with a little bit more flair and functionality.
“As a company of makers, Toyota has been driven by a passion for designing and engineering practical solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of its consumers. The Toyota U2 concept is an example of that – a vehicle tailored to those who make up today’s makers, creators and mobile entrepreneurs. This creative class blurs the lines between work and play and we’re delighted to give Canadians the first look at this compelling vision of urban mobility,” said Cyril Dimitris, Vice President, Sales, Toyota Canada Inc.
Called U2 for short, this concept also targets adventurous individuals looking for a vehicle that can keep up with their active and healthy lifestyle.
Toyota calls the U2 a ‘flexible, functional mobile gadget’ because of its extremely customizable features. Aside from being able to tailor-fit this utility concept to their current mobility demands, owners may also customize graphics and interior colors to reflect their personality and style.
Despite its do-it-all capability, Toyota still engineered the U2 to be compact in order to maintain maneuverability in the city.
“The U2 is a compelling design exercise that delves into the increasing re-urbanization of our cities and urban drivers’ desire for flexibility, fun and maneuverability. Calty keeps a number of projects concealed while continuously exploring new ideas for unique concepts, and the U2 gives people a rare look at the constant innovation and creative thinking that happens behind closed doors at Toyota and our Calty studios,” said Kevin Hunter, President of Calty, Toyota’s North American design studio.
Additional features of the U2 include:
- Side windows that flip up easily for more access from roadside
- Rear space that may be used anywhere from fully closed to completely open
- Retracting roof panels
- Rear glass panel that slides into the tailgate
- A fold-down tailgate which reconfigures into a ramp
- Retractable utility bar to customize for unique uses, from workspace to grocery bag hooks
- A versatile utility rail system allowing configurations to accommodate everything from baskets to bike stands
- Foldable and removable front passenger seat
- Fold-up rear seating
- Durable underbody
- Iconic modern design elements including a selection of colors and materials to suit a variety of tastes.