Fancy a Prius-Based Toyota Stout PHEV Rival for the Ford Maverick? It Could Look Like This

Toyota is doing great in the U.S. market right now, despite the 2022 sales hiccup, which saw an almost 10% drop compared to the year prior. But, as they say, we should only look forward to a brighter future, not back to a gloomy past.
Toyota Stout PHEV Prius Prime rendering by Joao Kleber Amaral 8 photos
Photo: Joao Kleber Amaral for autoevolution
Toyota Stout PHEV Prius Prime rendering by Joao Kleber AmaralToyota Stout PHEV Prius Prime rendering by Joao Kleber AmaralToyota Stout PHEV Prius Prime rendering by Joao Kleber Amaral2023 Toyota Prius Prime2023 Toyota Prius Prime2023 Toyota Prius Prime2023 Toyota Prius Prime
Although their volume of deliveries in the United States dropped 9.6% compared to 2021, they still sold more than 2.1 million vehicles and the perspectives for 2023 are as rosy as possible. That is on the back of new arrivals such as the $40k 2023 Crown crossover-sedan, the feisty GR Corolla, or the continued success of a multitude of nameplates, from the best-selling mid-size Tacoma pickup truck to the big, hulking Sequoia three-row family off-road SUV. And wait, that is just the start of the marathon.

As always, the Japanese automaker is one of the few carmakers active in the United States that do not want to and will not abandon the passenger cars sector, no matter how many CUV, SUV, or truck novelties it has. And there is good news across all segments, frankly, starting with the arrival of the electrified 2023 Prius ‘Hybrid Reborn’ from $27,450 and wrapping with the impending introduction of the 2023 Prius Prime plug-in hybrid or the 2023 Corolla Cross Hybrid, as well as the first-ever 2024 Grand Highlander.

Alas, that does not mean Toyota can rest on its laurels and think that it has covered all the basics – because it has not. Naturally, the corner office head honchos know that very well, hence the upcoming introduction of the new adventurous, rugged Trailhunter series as a more off-road lifestyle option for its models that oppose stuff like the Honda Pilot TrailSport. But some people think they should not stop there, as there are other newly lucrative sectors to think about.

For example, while the big Tundra is cool as the second-only full-size pickup truck to offer a hybrid powertrain alongside the Ford F-150 Hybrid, and it does have 437 hp from the i-Force MAX option, no one really believes it could threaten the Blue Oval F-Series supremacy. At least not until it also comes up with a Tundra HD (dually) to fend off the mighty Super Duty, that is. Meanwhile, the mid-size sector is still well-covered by the aging, best-selling Tacoma – which is due for a fourth generation sometime later this year for the 2024 or 2025 model years.

Toyota Stout PHEV Prius Prime rendering by Joao Kleber Amaral
Photo: Joao Kleber Amaral for autoevolution
But there is now a new thorn in Toyota’s pickup truck side. That would be the revival of America’s compact sector by way of unibody heroes like the posher $25,700 Hyundai Santa Cruz and – above all – the rugged, electrified, and slightly more affordable $22,595 Ford Maverick Hybrid. As such, are we surprised that the rumor mill has quickly caught whispers of Toyota mulling a return to the sector by way of a modern revival of its Stout nameplate?

As a reminder, the light truck was manufactured by the Rising Sun company between 1954 and 1989/2000 in the guise of just three generations. The original iteration was a short-lived one (1954 to 1960) but the other two were true long-lasting heroes, as production took place from 1960 to 1978 and then from 1979 to 1989 (for Japan) and 2000 (for export markets). Interestingly, the Stout also had a short stint (it was replaced by the Hilux in 1968) in North America, so one could argue that its cult following extends to the U.S. market, as well.

Still, it could be years until the corner-office head honchos decided anything about the fate of a possible Stout revival, so people started taking things into their hands. Or, rather, at the tip of the CGI brush, as is the case with the imaginative realm of digital car content creators. Most virtual artists that worked on unofficial, hypothetical Toyota Stout compact unibody pickup trucks have taken the latest EV concepts as a template for rugged models that could scare all the Mavericks and Santa Cruzes away. But what if that is the wrong approach since we do not have any official confirmation on the matter?

As such, we asked our pixel master friend Joao Kleber Amaral to CGI-imagine a set of exclusive renderings of the potentially upcoming Toyota Stout on slightly different coordinates – aka the unibody construction and styling of the Prius ‘Hybrid Reborn.’ As shocking as the idea might first seem, the truth is Toyota might not want to spend much on a model with a low-profit margin, and an adapted chassis could be key to nailing a good MSRP to compete against the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Plus, the 2.5L Maverick is already electrified, so it needs to at least be on par with it – hence the Prius-borrowed hybrid powertrain. Additionally, we also thought about how the unofficial Toyota Stout could also trump the 2.0-liter EcoBoost-equipped Maverick, so how does a Prius Prime-borrowed stable of 220 plug-in hybrid ponies sound to you? Cool, right?
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Editor's note: Gallery includes official images of Toyota Prius Prime.

About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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