If criteria are met, it’s possible that a pickup truck would be joining the Prius lineup, according to Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Division at Toyota Motor Sales USA. However, Carter clarifies that nothing has been decided at this point.
At the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Toyota revealed its new Prius family. Aside from the current Prius hatchback and Prius plug-in hybrid, it also displayed the all-new larger Prius V (the V stands for “versatility”) and the sporty Prius C concept vehicle.
Carter said that Prius means “high mpg, low environment impact.” It can be recalled that at the 2007 Detroit auto show, the Advanced Breakthrough Aero Truck (A-BAT) had debuted.
This was Toyota’s new version of Toyota’s original compact pickup truck. The A-BAT was equipped with a hybrid powertrain, unibody construction and a small footprint for maneuverability and weight savings.
Rear cargo space was maximized in the A-BAT's compact packaging through a cab-forward passenger compartment. Carter said that due to market uncertainties, Toyota had halted efforts to build a production version of the A-BAT in 2009.
Carter said that if the carmaker proceeds to develop a Prius pickup, it will be slotted below the current Toyota Tacoma. He said that it won’t be replaced since there’s still a need for a “smaller truck with traditional truck capability.” [via pickuptrucks]