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How the Toyota A-BAT Hybrid Truck Works


Toyota A-BAT Design
­The A-BAT's exterior takes a lot of cues from the Toyota Prius, including its trapezoidal shape and streamlined design.­­
­The A-BAT's exterior takes a lot of cues from the Toyota Prius, including its trapezoidal shape and streamlined design.­­
Toyota

As mentioned earlier, A-BAT stands for "Advanced Breakthrough Aero Truck," and on first glance the "Aero" part of that phrase might stand out. The A-BAT doesn't look like any of the older pickup trucks on the road, which typically have a triangularly shaped cabin and a flat, horizontal truck bed. Instead, the vehicle's design follows recent aerodynamic trends that you'll find on several newer pickup trucks, including the Honda Ridgeline and the Chevy Avalanche. In the A-BAT design, the exterior body panels that frame the edges of the rear cabin area don't fall straight down in a vertical line toward the bed of the truck -- instead, a narrow line continues and connects further down the bed, giving the truck an improved aerodynamic design by creating smoother air flow.

The designers at Calty specifically used what they call "Vibrant Clarity," Toyota's design ethos, when they drew up plans for the A-BAT. And if you placed a Toyota Prius next to the Toyota A-BAT, you'd notice they're using this philosophy often. The A-BAT and the Prius both share the same basic trapezoidal shape when you look at them from the side.

This unexpectedly long body design for a pickup truck might make it look as though there's no room in the A-BAT's cargo bed for transporting things, but the truck's interior is customizable for either more passengers or additional bed space. The inside begins as a four-person setup, and on the outside, a relatively small 4-foot (1.2-meter) bed; however, with a series of sliding platforms and an open tailgate the A-BAT can transform into a truck with a two-person cab and an 8-foot (2.4-meter) long truck bed. This means a long day of hauling 4 by 8 sheets of plywood back and forth is possible, but a camping trip with the whole family isn't out of the question, either. There's also a sliding roof panel that can move toward the front of the truck to accommodate taller objects, along with another sliding drawer underneath the truck bed for more storage.


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