An exciting project across the pond has led to a ground-breaking new concept for Toyota: the uBox. Aimed at Gen-Z, the next generation of car buyers, the uBox is centred on the flexible needs of a busy life, aiming to provide recreation at the weekend as well as office space and other career or lifestyle uses during the week.

Named Deep Orange, the collaboration took place between graduate students at Clemson University’s International Centre for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) and Toyota, allowing students to have a hands-on experience in the processes of vehicle development. Describing it as ‘automotive boot camp for the real world’, Johnell Brooks, an associate professor in Clemson’s graduate engineering program, explains that Deep Orange aims to immerse students into every aspect of automotive development, from market research and design studies to engineering design and manufacturing.

Leading the way in technology development, the u-Box has a huge range of innovative features such as the compact, dual-purpose, all-electric powertrain that provides an enjoyable driving experience as well as emission-free energy capable even of powering tools and consumer electronics through a number of 110-volt sockets placed throughout the interior and exterior. The low floor also allows for a reconfigurable interior, allowing seats to be removed or repositioned on nesting sliding tracks.

Designed entirely with generation Z in mind, the uBox also allows for entirely unique customisation options, with vents, dashboard display bezels and door trim that can be personalised by you, produced with 3-D printing. An online community is also available for owners to share designs and ideas, making this the first truly personalised car.

Most impressive though, is the unique pultrusion technique developed by the students to allow composite carbon fibre rails bonded with aluminium to support a curved glass roof. Not only does this allow for a sleek design unlike any other, it is also a completely new technique, never before used in industry.

The exciting possibilities developed by Deep Orange allows us to peek into the world of the future, where cars become so much more than just vehicles, and each one is as truly unique as its owner. If you are itching to get into a car at the forefront of technology, why not book a test drive in the latest Toyota Prius at Lancaster Toyota today?