Toyota Ultimate Utility Vehicle (UUV) Previewed Before SEMA
Meet the Toyota Sienna UUV, or Ultimate Utility Vehicle. This might just be the ultimate Swagger Wagon and it came directly from Toyota. Yep, ‘Yota engineers merged a Sienna minivan body with the ladder frame underpinnings of a Tacoma pickup truck to make this beastly family hauler.
Sadly Toyota is keeping the UUV’s specs mostly under wraps until its official debut at the 2015 SEMA show in November, though that doesn’t stop us from speculating. Visually, the UUV is wearing a steel bumper fitted with off-road lighting and a winch, while the smoked headlights match the flat-black wrap that covers the Sienna’s body. Off-road LED light bars front and rear light the way and flat fender extensions keep the body safe from flying debris.
Those fender extensions and the lack of a visible track system mean engineers have reworked the rear door’s opening style. Perhaps it opens suicide-style like the modified front doors.
The UUV rides atop a Tacoma frame and utilizes a lifted suspension with remote reservoir shock absorbers and a long-arm rear suspension kit. Massive 305/55-series Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires are mounted on blacked-out 20-inch wheels to complete the look. It’s highly likely the UUV is powered by the same 4.0-liter, longitudinally mounted V-6 that comes in the Tacoma. Then again, it could be the new 3.5-liter V-6 destined for the 2016 Taco.
Until the SEMA show, the UUV will be touring the country as part of Toyota’s “Ever-Better Expedition.” Toyota says the expedition’s purpose is to “get out to feel and learn from the road.”
While that mission statement leaves more questions than answers, the automaker further explains saying the trip will include some of its most popular vehicles on a 110-day transcontinental journey that puts engineers on the road to experience their products first-hand for an extended time and to connect with customers. The engineers will also be gathering insights and inspiration for future vehicles. Stops include New York City, Daytona Beach, Route 66, ice roads in Alaska, and Pike’s Peak.
Continue reading to read more about the Toyota Ultimate Utility Vehicle (UUV).
Why it matters
It’s nice to see Toyota step out of the box on this one – and the UUV is certainly very much outside any conventional boxes. The high-riding family van should do a great job of garnering attention from crowds along the 16,500-mile road trip. And despite the guaranteed positive reaction from the crowd, don’t expect Toyota to mass produce anything like the UUV, though this would be the best way to make manly men finally accept the minivan as a cool mode of transpiration.
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