The Japanese automaker, the largest carmaker in the world, has just revealed the first images and details of the Urban Utility (U2) concept, scheduled to make it official public debut during the World Maker Faire event in New York City.
The U2 – no relation whatsoever with the famous Irish rock band – is a concept that envisions a delivery van of the future, with Toyota claiming the model has a reconfigurable interior that allows it to utilize its compact urban dimensions and still boast the “functionality of a compact truck and the spaciousness of a cargo van.”
“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.”
The exterior styling is a “take it or leave it” affair, but the model boasts a very interesting rear end that has a sliding retractable roof and a huge tailgate that can also double as a charging ramp. The interior of the cabin features a highly minimalist approach focused on ergonomics and functionality, with a rather unique instrument cluster and the center console replaced by an iPad that also doubles as the car’s infotainment system. The front passenger system is removable and the cargo area features a rail system that can accommodate a large selection of cargo.