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2002 Toyota UUV Concept

The 2002 Toyota UUV Concept, short for Urban Utility Vehicle, debuted at the Geneva Motor Show, representing Toyota's exploration of new directions in automotive design. Designed by Toyota's European design center (ED2), the UUV aimed to challenge current conventions and offer a unique blend of SUV characteristics with urban sophistication.

The UUV was envisioned as a potential evolution of the sports utility vehicle (SUV), introducing an entirely new urban niche in the automotive market, similar to the pioneering role played by Toyota's RAV4 upon its launch in 1994. It sought to combine the standout qualities of traditional 4x4 vehicles with urban features such as sophisticated design, clean geometric surfaces, and excellent road behavior.

Created with a new type of customer in mind – individuals born of the urban environment yet ready to embrace adventurous driving – the UUV targeted progressive, successful individuals seeking innovative vehicles that made a statement about their lifestyle. These customers, typically in their early 40s with families, desired something different, powerful, and innovative while retaining the prestige of a premium car.

The UUV concept embodied a harmonized multi-cross body, blending elements of hatchback, saloon, and estate into one sleek package. Despite its SUV characteristics, such as flared wheel arches and large wheels, the UUV maintained a sleek and aerodynamic profile, with tense geometric surfaces reflecting its urban environment.

Toyota's advanced thinking extended to the interior of the UUV, featuring a full-width dash-mounted screen known as 'Glass Vision'. This innovative system, supplied by Denso, utilized a special photopolymer screen capable of refracting light like a prism, along with a projector for clear holographic images. The 'Glass Vision' system offered enhanced entertainment and navigational functions to both the driver and passenger.

Innovation also extended to the UUV's performance, with specially designed run-flat tires that allowed Toyota to dispense with the spare tire, saving space and weight. Despite its progressive design and features, the UUV remained functional and comfortable, offering a versatile driving experience that appealed to a new generation of customers.

Toyota's Urban Utility Vehicle represented a glimpse into the future of automotive design, blending SUV capabilities with urban sophistication to create a vehicle that catered to the evolving needs and preferences of modern drivers.

Source & Images: Toyota