Toyota’s on a bit of a roll. Following the cute little S-FR, the bonkers Kikai and the U Squared van comes this, the Ubox.
It’s been designed by a bunch of university students – those of Clemson University in South Carolina, no less – with ‘generation Z’ as its target buyers.
‘Who are generation Z?’ you might fairly ask. They are the next generation of car buyers, Toyota tells us, the cloying tag attached to anyone born between the late 1990s and now. And given the powers-that-be are already at the end of the alphabet, we’re seriously pondering what the next group of kids will be called…
Anyhow, the Ubox is a ludicrously cool looking thing, with some unfortunate marketing balderdash to underline its purpose. It is designed for “a young entrepreneur who wants a vehicle that can provide utility and recreation on the weekend but that can also offer office space or other career-centric or lifestyle uses during the week,” says a rather breathless Toyota release. Generation Z doesn’t like punctuation, it seems.
In simple terms, the Ubox has lots of room inside to accommodate friends or bikes (whichever you like most), and much connectivity to feed your social media and working needs. Interior details such as air vents and door trim can also be personally designed and 3D printed at home, with an online community to share ideas. There is some propulsion beneath it all, but exactly how much would appear to be unimportant to the Zs. It is, as you might imagine, electrically powered.
Most interesting, though, are the looks. The suicide door setup is bold, but more eye-catching still is the curved glasshouse, something enabled by the addition of structural carbon fibre pultrusions. An industry-first technique, we’re told.
It’s just a concept for now, of course, but given how many brave pills Toyota’s been popping lately – as its production-ready Juke-rival proves – we wouldn’t put it past them to translate at least some the Ubox to production.
So, generation Zs: do you like it?