Skip to main content

Toyota's latest concept vehicle is an ode to tinkerers

It's also kind of insane looking

Share this story


Toyota's created a new concept car for "urban" dwellers who like to tinker, and the result is essentially what would happen if an SUV, taxi, and the turrets from Portal accidentally made a baby.

The Urban Utility concept is a three-door vehicle with an interior that employs rails to let you change up the seating arrangement, or lock in what you're carrying. Like a lot of other cars, that means you can take out seats you don't plan to use — including the passenger seats. But you can also adjust where things go along tracks that run along the bottom and sides of the interior, and that let you move things like racks or dividers to specific spots.

For getting things in and out of this seemingly complicated interior system, the roof folds into the middle of the car, so you can add objects that are too tall to fit. The hatch back also folds down to double as a ramp, so you could load items up and into it like what you'd find on a large truck.

One curiosity is a space for tablets right on the dashboard. This doesn't replace things like your speedometer, which Toyota is depicting as an enormous compass of sorts. Instead, Toyota envisions it showing you navigation, environmental controls, or your fuel level and efficiency. In this case, that's all going through an iPad that sits smack in the center of your car.

While those concepts have been tried before individually, they're all together here. Toyota hopes that will appeal to people in the so-called Maker community who like to tinker with things. The project, which is being shown off at the World Maker Faire in New York City next weekend, came out of Toyota's Calty Design Research group in Southern California. Toyota's taking the wraps off the car in San Francisco today, and says it plans to use public feedback to fine tune the design in the event that it's actually released.


Is that a taxi or a delivery truck? No, it's Toyota's new Urban Utility vehicle, or U-Squared.