Toyota mates a Tacoma with a minivan, calls it the “Ultimate Utility Vehicle” (PHOTOS)

Updated Nov 17, 2015

To show off its engineering prowess and research vehicle performance in adverse conditions, Toyota has developed a concept truck it calls the UUV—the Ultimate Utility Vehicle.

Shown off last week at the SEMA 2015 show, the Toyota UUV is basically a uni-body Sienna mounted to a body-on-frame Tacoma. The engine gets a boost from a Toyota TRD Tacoma supercharger kit, while 22-inch off-road wheels and an upgraded steering system keep the UUV grounded in rough terrain.

Inside the UUV is a mobile satellite receiver with DirecTV access, a 60-inch Sony LED TV and a 2500-watt JBL audio system. A night-vision camera allows the engineers to record in high def over the course of the automaker’s Ever Better Expedition. The expedition, which started near the end of June, takes Toyota engineers across North America and allows them to test the capabilities of their vehicles in both extreme and real-world environments.

The engineers can sit in the UUV’s captains’ chairs and monitor driving data from every other vehicle in the expedition in real time. It can report the vehicles’ condition, handling and braking, and report back to Toyota headquarters on the cars’ performance via Skype.

To test concept designs and create ideas for future innovations, the North American leg of the Ever Better Expedition is taking the UUV through some of the most challenging terrain and environments on the continent, including Death Valley, California and the ice and snow of Alaska.