Pickup Trucks that Should, and Should Not, Be

Toyota A-BAT concept

While reading jgoods‘ post yesterday on the growing Toyota Prius line, I thought, quite sarcastically, “Watch, next will be a Prius pickup…”

I laughed at the irony of the boxy pickup finding its way into the wind-cheating aerodynamic shape of the Prius.

Can you think of two other vehicle types that are such polar opposites of each other?

Well, silly me. I guess I forgot all about the old Toyota A-BAT concept, which could be revived to join the suddenly-expanding Prius family. More on that and a sweet truck that actually deserves to be called a truck (but isn’t) after the break.

According to PickupTrucks.com, Toyota is considering reviving the A-BAT hybrid pickup concept that was unveiled in 2007 at the Detroit Auto Show. The Advanced Breakthrough Aero Truck concept explored a hybrid drivetrain, unibody construction and a more compact shape. Kind of like a Ridgeline. Only hybrid. And smaller. But just as pointless.

I’ll accept hybrids into the general marketplace, but this thing doesn’t have a place in the U.S. pickup market. Give me a little Hilux diesel any day over the A-BAT!

During a discussion in Detroit, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed, sort of, Jeep would get a truck too. Or at least, something like one:

Talking about the Gladiator concept that was shown in Florida last year, Marchionne said, “I like that vehicle. I liked it the first day I saw it. There’s a better than 50 percent chance that you’ll get one. Regardless of what Ram says. They’re totally peeved off at the fact that we’re going to have anything that looks like a pickup truck with a Jeep badge on it. I actually think that there’s space for it.”

He went on to clarify that it’s not being called a truck, but a “multipurpose” vehicle fitted with “a truck bed.” Whatever it’s called, we’re sure there’s a better than 50 percent chance that Jeep-lovers will devour it.

Which would you park in the driveway: the Prius pickup or the Jeep pickup?


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Used Toyota Prius
Used Honda Ridgeline


  1. I can see the Jeep pickup being a good seller if Chrysler doesn’t screw it up, but the Toyota is simply hideous.

  2. I learned how to drive in a 5spd Commanche so of course I would be in the Jeep “pickup” market if it came out. I wouldn’t mind just throwing my gear in the bed rather than tying it on top or on a trailer.

  3. Michael K. is right: A Jeep truck like the one shown would be a winner, I think. The A-BAT, like the Ridgeline, is a would-be truck for people who don’t really like trucks. Is Toyota dumb enough to follow Honda’s example?

  4. This Jeep truck looks awesome. I think I’ll be saving my nickles and dimes to scoop one up if/when it comes out. Let’s face it: Chrysler NEEDS a small/midsize truck in their lineup. And, frankly, the Dakota is not cutting it.

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