16 Amazing Pickup Van Concepts
In fact, we have gone over a number of pickup truck concepts that just left us baffled and slightly confused. Some of them are better off left in the past. Others are (remarkably) still under consideration today.
16 KIA KCV4 MOJAVE
The Kia KCV4 Mojave is a concept pickup that simply looks rather odd. For starters, it doesn’t look as bulky as your typical pickup. Instead, its designed to be rather curvy, especially along the frame that goes straight to the roof. At the same time, this is a vehicle that also has four center-opening doors, which you typically don’t see in trucks. Meanwhile, the KCV4 Mojave’s interior looks a bit like a boat.
According to a report from Concept Carz, Kia saw the KCV4 Mojave as a pickup truck that is perfect for the future. “Our design objectives for the Mojave were unique in that we attempted to combine a forward-thinking cabin with an advanced, open and modern feel that would appeal to Generation Y consumers,” explained Lee Jae-Rim, Senior Research Engineer and Designer at the Kia/Hyundai Research & Design Center in South Korea.
15 NISSAN NAILS
The Nissan Nails is clearly a distinctive pickup truck concept. Some may even argue that it looks like it was quite ahead of its time back when it made its debut in 2001.
The Nails was designed to have an “A-shaped cabin frame.” Furthermore, Nissan explained, “Various body panels such as the hood, fenders and doors are given a treatment to allow rough use without being concerned about scratches or dents. The front mask incorporates a novel sensation in its skeletal design that seemingly allows a peek at the mechanicals over the tops of colored glasses. Another unique form is suggested by the integrated appearance of the tires and wheels, giving the impression of being ‘rubber-faced wheels’.”
14 MITSUBISHI GR-HEV
Mitsubishi Motors came up with GR-HEV with a “possible next ‘Dual Design’ vehicle” in mind. Moreover, the Japanese automaker also envisioned this car to be able to handle the various heavy-duty requirements of a pickup truck while staying as environmentally friendly as possible.
The expectation was that it would meet Mitsubishi’s ambitious target of generating below 149 g/km in CO2 emissions. According to a report from Motor Trend, Mitsubishi first showed the GR-HEV concept during the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. After that, it’s rather unclear what happened next.
13 SUZUKI X-HEAD
One look at the Suzuki X-Head and you would think that you are staring at a toy truck. Presented during the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, this concept pickup is reportedly over 12 feet long. Moreover, it uses a 1,372 cc engine.
Inside, the X-Head looks fairly simple. Based on the photos, this truck can strictly accommodate only two people. Meanwhile, its cargo bed looks to have the capacity for around two motorbikes. Aside from this, the side of the cargo bed also pulls down and provides for additional cargo space. That’s certainly not something that other trucks are offering currently.
The X-Head comes in a light yellow paint color.
12 TOYOTA A-BAT
As far as trucks go, Toyota is determined to take things one step further. Unfortunately, they may have ended up taking one step back with the A-BAT.
Toyota first introduced the A-BAT concept pickup during the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A-BAT is short for “Advanced-Breakthrough Aerodynamic Truck.”
What sets the A-BAT apart from other concept pickup trucks is that it is powered by Toyota’s very own Hybrid Synergy Drive System. This is the exact system that is being used in the Prius so it is expected that the A-BAT would have some good mileage while hauling stuff around town. Meanwhile, for added storage, the A-BAT also comes with a drawer in the tailgate.
11 SUBARU BRAT
Especially during its time, the Subaru Brat was one of the weirdest pickup truck concepts that anyone had ever seen. According to a report from Car Buzz, the Brat was developed because the President of Subaru America wanted to enter the small truck market in the United States.
The Brat was produced from 1978 to 1994. It was meant to rival the likes of the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino.
This truck was reportedly fitted with a 1.8-liter EA-81 engine. Unfortunately, it could only deliver 94 horsepower. Meanwhile, the Brat was also fitted with rear-facing jump seats in its bed. This was reportedly done to help the truck bypass the “Chicken Tax” law in the U.S.
10 HONDA T880
The T880 is a pickup truck that seems to look more like an actual small truck. According to the website Japanese Nostalgic Car, the concept behind this truck is based on the Honda Acty. The website also explained, “The T880 name derives from the idea that Honda believes if feels like it has the performance of an 880cc truck.”
It is believed that this concept truck is also significantly underpowered. That’s because, if this truck is based on the Acty, it most likely used Acty’s three-cylinder. Unfortunately, this power unit has less than one liter in displacement. Even worse, it can also only produce as much as 45 horsepower. Clearly, hauling anything would be impossible.
9 HONDA CIVIC TYPE R PICKUP
For years now, the Honda Civic has had a large following. In fact, it has been a clear favorite among street racers since this car is easy to modify to make it faster and more competitive. Well, it turns out that Honda also has its own modification ideas for the Civic. In their case though, they decided to use it as a basis for a rather odd pickup truck concept.
According to a report from Slash Gear, the Civic Type R Pickup concept has been codenamed “Project P.”
From the looks of it, it pretty much seems like a pickup was carved out of a car. Despite its weird appearance, however, you may be glad to know that this truck is designed to be fast. In fact, a report from Motor Trend reveals that the truck can probably go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in less than six seconds. Moreover, it is said to have a top speed of 165 miles per hour.
8 CHEVROLET SSR
One look at a Chevrolet SSR probably boggles your mind. It’s almost like you’re seeing a big car that is trying to pretend to be a truck. And in fact, Edmunds has referred to this car as “an anomaly in the automotive world.”
SSR stands for “Super Sport Roadster.” It is supposed to be a convertible that is combined with a pickup truck. During development, the idea was reportedly to come up with something that is based on the midsize SUV platform of GMC. In the end, however, the idea proved to be a failure.
While it was offered in the market for four years, the SSR suffered several issues. One of the primary issues was that the curb weight of the truck proved to be too much for its V8 engine.
7 DODGE DEORA
Over the years, it seems Dodge may have taken things a bit too far when it came to their pickup trucks. And this could not be more evident than with the rather off-putting Dodge Deora.
According to a report from Motor Trend, the brains behind the Deora were Mike and Larry Alexander from Detroit. To make it happen, the Alexander brothers also partnered with former GM designer Harry Bentley Bradley. Over the years, their partnership resulted in over 10 custom cars. And without a doubt, the most eye-rolling one would be the Deora.
Work on the Deora started in 1964. The idea was to create a truck that was based on the Chrysler A100 car. The end result is something that no one ever imagined a truck could be. Bradley also remarked to Motor Trend, “I don’t think many knew it was a real vehicle.”
6 RAM LONG-HAULER
You have to admit some truck concepts were created with the best of intentions. However, when the time came to execute the idea, there are just some concepts that fell short. Take the RAM Long-Hauler for example. According to a report from the Truck Trend Network, the RAM Long-Hauler was the concept of the Chrysler Innovation Group. The idea was to come up with a model concept that showed off several “premium features” as well as some future trends.
Essentially, they hoped that with the Long-Hauler, more consumers would be encouraged to buy a full-size truck.
In the end, however, the Ram Long-Hauler seemed to be too big (and long) for anyone’s desire. It didn’t matter that it possessed a Dana S111 rear axle that was rated to take on as much as 14,500 pounds.
5 GMC DENALI XT
Another GMC pickup truck concept that kind of looks weird would be the Denali XT. The idea was to come up with a hybrid concept that left car buyers curious, intrigued and wanting to buy. However, this supposed “compact” truck may have just ended up making eyes roll.
According to a report from PickupTrucks.com, the Denali XT was based on the Holden Ute. Meanwhile, the interior was slightly based on the 2010 Chevy Camaro.
This concept pickup truck was also given a 4.9-liter small block V8 engine that could churn out as much as 362 horsepower. Meanwhile, it received a two-mode hybrid transmission. This reportedly resulted in a fuel economy improvement of 50 percent versus other midsize trucks.
4 FORD RANGER II
By now, just about any car buyer should be familiar with the Ford Ranger. However, has anyone heard of the Ford Ranger II? No, it’s not an upcoming model. Instead, it’s a concept that looked out of this world in every sense. In fact, it reminds you a bit of a flying saucer that somehow crashed into Earth and evolved into a truck.
According to the website Car Styling, the Ranger II was created by Syd Mead. The idea here was to come up with a convertible pickup that bore some similarities with the Chevrolet SSR. As Mead himself explained, “This was designed to mount onto a ’63 Ford station wagon frame. It was fully operational with A/C, radio and a fully operational top conversion. The small rear ‘cab’ roof slid back, a rear seat unfolded and a ‘filler’ section with window rose into position. This meant that sacrificing bed length, the vehicle converted electrically from a bench seat, three-passenger vehicle into a five-passenger close-coupled club sedan/truck.”
3 JEEP J-12
It seems that Jeep thoroughly enjoyed exploring the idea of coming out with pickup trucks, so much so that it came out with the J-12. Unfortunately, this one proved to be rather awkward.
From the beginning, the J-12 was meant to be reminiscent of something specific. As J-12 designer Kyle Evans pointed out to Car and Driver, “If there was a guiding principle or theme behind the J-12 concept, it was grandpa’s fishing truck.” He further added, “The color, the logos, the grille—these things evoke very specific memories for people. When we were out in Moab last month, virtually everyone had a story about a personal experience with a Jeep J-series.” Well, the J-12 may be nostalgic for some. But it is clearly not a truck for everyone.
2 JEEP MIGHTY FC
The Mighty FC is another ambitious Jeep truck concept that seems to look and feel a little off. For starters, it resembles more of an actual truck than a pickup truck.
The FC in Mighty FC stands for “Forward Control.” This concept came from industrial designer Brooks Stevens. During the 1950s, the goal was to provide a vehicle that had better versatility and space efficiency. And so, it was hoped that the Mighty FC would easily fulfill both.
The Mighty FC’s cab was based on the two-door Jeep Wrangler. Meanwhile, according to a report from Car and Driver, the roof was done using the JK-8 pickup kit from Mopar.
1 MERCEDES-BENZ G63 AMG 6X6
If you look at pickup trucks and even SUVs today, you will quickly notice that they all run on four tires. However, Mercedes Benz thought their version of a pickup truck would be better off running on six tires. And in fact, that’s what they did when came up with the concept for the G63 AMG 6×6.
For Mercedes-Benz, the G63 AMG is an “automotive declaration of independence.” The carmaker further added, “It is in its element off the beaten track. Its business is overcoming the challenges that the natural world and different weather conditions across the globe pose for its driver.” The G63 AMG uses a powerful AMG 5.5-liter V8 bi-turbo engine. It also comes with driving modes that you can use depending on the road or track situation. These include the Controlled Efficiency, Sport and Manual modes.
Sources: technavio.com, nissannews.com, carbuzz.com, edmunds.com, trucktrend.com.