Tokyo EPU is far more than just an EV concept
Some say that Toyota’s EPU bakkie concept currently on show at Tokyo’s at Tokyo’s Japan Mobility Show, is Toyota’s future electric bakkie. Others say that the EPU is just an interesting look at another Toyota pickup truck idea. We reckon you’re pretty well looking at the forthcoming Toyota Stout half-ton bakkie…
Don’t be too concerned about the E bit of that EPU tag. Based on a new EV platform for now, there will be far more than just an electric option. Remember, Toyota first showed the form of the forthcoming Hilux, nee Tacoma, as a future electric bakkie concept when Akiyo Toyoda revealed his company’s EV plans en masse a year or so ago? Auto exclusively predicted that link immediately at the time and that has now gone on to create a pretty neat precedent, we’d say.
Stout will fill a global gap in Toyota’s line-up
Getting back to the Stout, Auto has been on its tracks for a while already. Interestingly, our wild guess render of how a future Toyota Stout may look, based on other metal shown at Toyoda’s EV expose, turned out remarkably similar to how the EPU concept looks. Especially so from the rear three-quarter angle.
In short, Stout will fill a global gap in Toyota’s range where the likes of the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Fe operate as monocoque single body bakkies, or what we like to call half-tonners. Rather than the likes of the ladder frame ‘one-ton’ Hilux and Ranger, et-al. That would plausibly also provide a Toyota a platform to the currently wholly vacant, and usually quite vibrant half-ton workhorse market. But that’s just speculation.
Stout is no longer speculation
What’s no longer speculation, is that Toyota is playing with a stylish half-ton monocoque-construction four-door bakkie with a built-in bak. The concept is of course for an electric bakkie but judging by the genealogy of the forthcoming Hilux as noted above, we’d say an EV version will follow somewhere in the future.
The initial range will more likely hinge primarily around a combustion, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid base. Plausibly on a stretched Corolla Cross base. The five-passenger EPU concept is 5.1 metres long 1.9 m wide, and 1.7 m tall, on a 3.35 m wheelbase, which is pretty much bang-on the albeit slightly narrower and slightly taller Ford Maverick’s dimensions.
Far more than just an electric concept
EPU’s body seems production ready, but the cabin is still a bit in dreamland that pie in the sky yoke. Toyota does not mention pricing, powertrain, or much else.
However, knowing what we know about a proposed Toyota one-tonner, the patent applied for the Stout nametag around the exactly such an application, the EPU concept is far more than just an interesting look at another Toyota pickup truck idea.
We are however convinced that these pictures show exactly what to expect from a Toyota Stout half-ton bakkie in the not very distant future…