Automotive

Yamaha's urban-active electric pickup carries a baseball diamond of occupants and gear

Yamaha's urban-active electric...
Yamaha imagines the Cross Hub bringing urbanites outdoors for ATVing, snowmobiling, dirt biking and other Yamaha-based recreational activities
Yamaha imagines the Cross Hub bringing urbanites outdoors for ATVing, snowmobiling, dirt biking and other Yamaha-based recreational activities
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Yamaha explores a small pickup truck for four + gear
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Yamaha explores a small pickup truck for four + gear
Yamaha doesn't go into any details about the drive system, so we don't know if it's a 2- or 4WD
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Yamaha doesn't go into any details about the drive system, so we don't know if it's a 2- or 4WD
The Yamaha Cross Hub has a short hood and front overhang
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The Yamaha Cross Hub has a short hood and front overhang
A central driving position helps Yamaha seat four while keeping overall size down
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A central driving position helps Yamaha seat four while keeping overall size down
Yamaha debuts the Cross Hub Concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show
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Yamaha debuts the Cross Hub Concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show
Yamaha imagines the Cross Hub bringing urbanites outdoors for ATVing, snowmobiling, dirt biking and other Yamaha-based recreational activities
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Yamaha imagines the Cross Hub bringing urbanites outdoors for ATVing, snowmobiling, dirt biking and other Yamaha-based recreational activities
Yet another Tokyo concept with coach doors
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Yet another Tokyo concept with coach doors
Yamaha stresses that the bed is made for two motorcycles, but it looks like it will really only fit one full-size bike and a kid's bike
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Yamaha stresses that the bed is made for two motorcycles, but it looks like it will really only fit one full-size bike and a kid's bike
The diamond-shaped seating layout is a cornerstone of the Cross Hub design
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The diamond-shaped seating layout is a cornerstone of the Cross Hub design
Yamaha works on the four-seat configuration and central driver area
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Yamaha works on the four-seat configuration and central driver area
Yamaha Cross Hub Concept sketches
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Yamaha Cross Hub Concept sketches
Yamaha Cross Hub Concept sketches
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Yamaha Cross Hub Concept sketches
Yamaha Cross Hub Concept sketches
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Yamaha Cross Hub Concept sketches
Yamaha Cross Hub Concept sketches
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Yamaha Cross Hub Concept sketches
Yamaha Cross Hub Concept interior sketch
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Yamaha Cross Hub Concept interior sketch
Yamaha Cross Hub Concept sketch
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Yamaha Cross Hub Concept sketch
Yamaha Cross Hub Concept sketch
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Yamaha Cross Hub Concept sketch
Yamaha Cross Hub Concept rendering
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Yamaha Cross Hub Concept rendering
Yamaha mentions a lithium-ion battery and brushless motor but doesn't give any other powertrain details
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Yamaha mentions a lithium-ion battery and brushless motor but doesn't give any other powertrain details
The interior is compact and simple, using small digital displays and a multifunctional steering wheel to consolidate control
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The interior is compact and simple, using small digital displays and a multifunctional steering wheel to consolidate control
Yamaha's all-new Cross Hub concept
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Yamaha's all-new Cross Hub concept
Yamaha's all-new Cross Hub concept
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Yamaha's all-new Cross Hub concept

If you think a Mercedes pickup truck is a bit too smooth and docile for grunt work, wait until you familiarize yourself with the Cross Hub concept from Yamaha. While this truck would likely get you ridiculed straight off the grounds of any job site, it's more of a recreational machine meant to get you, three friends and two (Yamaha) motorcycles from the center of the city to the outskirts of the mountains and beyond. With the help of an odd diamond-shaped seating layout, Yamaha uses it to bridge the gap between its road and recreation lines.

More than styling or technology, the Cross Hub is an experiment in packaging. Yamaha wanted to design a compact, rugged pickup truck that could maneuver both tight trails and narrow city corridors while carrying a pair of Yamaha motorcycles – or perhaps e-bikes –out of town and into the mountains or forest. The truck measures 177 inches (4,490 mm) in length, nearly 3 feet (914 mm) shorter than the Mercedes X-Class, Toyota Tacoma or Honda Ridgeline.

The diamond-shaped seating layout is a cornerstone of the Cross Hub design
The diamond-shaped seating layout is a cornerstone of the Cross Hub design

It seems like a two-seat interior would have been the obvious way for Yamaha to go, particularly with a bed sized for two bikes, but it was hell-bent on going four. Fitting those four seats inside the short, narrow cabin entailed rethinking the interior layout, rotating things to create a diamond-shaped seating arrangement with a central driving position, a rearmost seat behind it and two side seats. The side seats aren't entirely in their own row, set only slightly back from the front seat – so it's a rather scrunched diamond.

The two-motorcycle bed is a bit misleading since it seems to fit only one full-size bike situated diagonally with a kid's bike slid beside it – so more of a 1.5-bike size. That bed is dressed with a boat-style wood floor and closed off with a boomerang-like half tailgate that can be left open to accommodate longer gear. If bikes aren't your thing, you could always fill that bed up with a Yamaha ATV or snowmobile.

Yamaha's all-new Cross Hub concept
Yamaha's all-new Cross Hub concept

The Cross Hub's styling is an interesting blend of car and truck design. The central-drive nature is reflected outside with a triangular nose, an element adapted from the 2015 Sports Ride Concept. The strong, upright grille and skid plate below the nose lend some rugged, truck-like presence, and barely-there headlights peek out from between the hood and contrast front fenders.

Yamaha emphasizes the split between cabin and bed with large gashes between the bed sides and cabin walls. It looks interesting enough on a concept truck, but we'd be worried the thing would get filled with rocks and mud, if not crack clean in half on the first major pothole.

Yamaha's all-new Cross Hub concept
Yamaha's all-new Cross Hub concept

With the right frame and suspension below, a Cross Hub truck could be a whole lot of fun off-road and practical for cargo hauling back in the city. We'd certainly love to test one with a potent electric drive or turbo engine running the show and maybe a basic two-seat layout in place of the diamond-4. But the Cross Hub is just a design study, and Yamaha doesn't even bother to list any specs beyond brushless motor, lithium-ion battery and dimensions: 177 x 77 x 69 in (4,490 x 1,960 x 1,750 mm, L x W x H).

The Cross Hub made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, where it's on display with the impressive tilting Niken three-wheeler and a variety of other Yamaha two-, three- and four-wheelers.

Source: Yamaha

2 comments
vince
It's cool. A lot better than the Subaru Brat Concept years ago. Unfortunately it will never see the light of day same as the Brat. Well, the Brat did but it was so different from the concept as night and day.
AngryPenguin
What's up with those pedals? Is it one accelerator and two brake pedals?