Toyota unveils new SUV concept

Toyota U2 concept

Toyota has unveiled a new SUV concept car, which it says is inspired by the resurgence in popularity of DIY in American cities.

Called the Urban Utility concept (or U2 for short), the new vehicle features back-to-basics styling, and an open architecture with an emphasis on utility and easy replacement of materials.

The U2 is the work of Toyota's Calty studios, a US based design house that has been tasked with the exterior styling of many of the brand's previous products, and describes the U2 as reflecting "no-nonsense urban style".

Whatever you take that to mean, the U2 features a roll-back roof and a tailgate that can be folded to the floor to create a ramp. On the inside, a unique rail system makes it easier for drivers to customise the interior layout to their requirements.

Kevin Hunter, Calty president, said: "Toyota saw an opportunity for a new approach to an urban vehicle, based on the increasing re-urbanisation of our cities (whatever that means...), and on urban drivers' desire for flexibility, fun and manoeuvrability.

Toyota U2 Concept

Toyota U2 Concept

"Calty keeps a number of projects concealed while it explores ideas and projects. Revealing something like the U2 gives people a window onto the constant innovation that is happening inside Toyota and our studios, and a possible future vision for urban mobility."

Designed to be as flexible as functional as possible, the U2 concept also features a folding and removable front passenger seat, folding rear seats, retracting roof panels and replaceable protective ridges on the tailgate. All very impressive, but Toyota has neglected to mention what's sitting under the bonnet...

The car also showcases a number of new colour and trim finishes, which could make their way into Toyota's showroom models at some point in the near future.

The U2 will make its public debut at the World Maker Faire in New York on September 20.

What do you think of the Toyota Urban Utility concept? Is it the practical automotive solution of your dreams, or simply an attention grabbing PR stunt? Have your say in the comments section below.