Toyota’s U² Urban Utility concept previews the real world of compact commercial vans.
We often think of concept cars as glamorous, boundary-pushing visions of the automobile of tomorrow, but this study from Toyota is more straight-to-the-point. Granted, it has plenty of interesting, concept-like cues - because that’s what it is, but the vehicle clearly showcases the Japanese car manufacturer eagerness to target the commercial van niche.
Pronounced the “U Squared”, it officially debuted at this year’s 2016 Canadian International Auto Show, in Toronto, and is described as a “urban utility concept”.
“From its retracting roof panels, to its uniquely configurable utility rail system, the U2 offers a concept vehicle that is only limited by the imagination. Our North American design team left no stone unturned in masterfully creating a concept vehicle that truly embodies the spirit of today’s Maker culture from the inside out”, says Cyril Dimitris, Vice President, Sales, Toyota Canada Inc.
Although the Toronto Auto Show was the U²’s first public outing, the car was actually unveiled in late 2014 during a private panel discussion hosted by Make Magazine. Moreover, according to the Detroit Bureau, the vehicle’s next target is the upcoming Chicago Auto Show – which could indicate Toyota’s zeal to launch a new van for the commercial segment.