2016 Toyota U2 (Urban Utility) concept.
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The Toyota Urban Utility concept vehicle (“U Squared”) made its global motor show debut at the 2016 Canadian International Auto Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
This unique concept introduces a fusion of utility van, truck and passenger car and compliments the rise of the do-it-yourself movement that is transforming cities with invention-focused Maker Faire events and growing entrepreneurship.
“As a company of makers, Toyota has been driven by a passion for designing and engineering practical solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of its consumers. The Toyota U2 concept is an example of that – a vehicle tailored to those who make up today’s makers, creators and mobile entrepreneurs,” says Cyril Dimitris, Vice President, Sales, Toyota Canada Inc. “This creative class blurs the lines between work and play and we’re delighted to give Canadians the first look at this compelling vision of urban mobility.”
The U2 concept is also the perfect vehicle for young, urban drivers who lead an active lifestyle and have embraced adventure. It’s a flexible, functional mobile gadget that owners can customize according to their individual, on-the-go needs. Its custom graphics and interior colours and materials make the U2 concept a reflection of the owner’s style, while its compact footprint makes the U2 concept easy to drive and park in crowded urban cores.
“The U2 is a compelling design exercise that delves into the increasing re-urbanization of our cities and urban drivers’ desire for flexibility, fun and maneuverability,” says Kevin Hunter, President of Calty, Toyota’s North American design studio. “Calty keeps a number of projects concealed while continuously exploring new ideas for unique concepts, and the U2 gives people a rare look at the constant innovation and creative thinking that happens behind closed doors at Toyota and our Calty studios.”
Prior to developing this unique Urban Utility Concept vehicle, researchers at Calty met with notable makers in San Francisco, at the Bay Area Maker Faire, to understand their lifestyle, needs, and the challenges they face when it comes to mobility. The Toyota U2 concept’s unique design and the details sparked by that research were not lost on the exclusive group of Toronto makers and entrepreneurs who were treated to a sneak preview earlier this week at the historic Arstcape Wychwood Barns, where they marveled at the unique configurability and features such as:
Side windows that flip up easily for more access from roadside
Rear space that may be used anywhere from fully closed to completely open –
Retracting roof panels
Rear glass panel that slides into the tailgate
A fold-down tailgate which reconfigures into a ramp
Retractable utility bar to customize for unique uses, from workspace to grocery bag hooks
A versatile utility rail system allowing configurations to accommodate everything from baskets to bike stands
Foldable and removable front passenger seat
Fold-up rear seating
Iconic modern design elements including a selection of colours and materials to suit a variety of tastes.
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