Toyota Stout comeback rumors: Will it be an electrified truck? [Update]

  • Toyota apparently considering a compact truck for the segment below the Tacoma
  • Success of the Maverick could be a catalyst for the Toyota compact truck's introduction
  • The Stout was sold in North America between 1964 & 1967 paving the way for the Hilux
  • We expect the Toyota compact truck to feature hybrid power & Toyota's new HMI

Update: ‘Update on Toyota’s compact truck expected in early 2023’ section added.

Many of you might not have heard about it but the Stout was the original Toyota truck in the compact class in North America.

Toyota pickup trucks are usually associated with the Hilux from the 1970s, but go back further, and you’ll find that in 1964, the Japanese carmaker launched the half-ton Toyota Stout 2WD in America and other markets. This was the first time Toyota toyed with the idea of a light pickup truck in North America, which proved to be a learning curve for the company.

Toyota Stout trademark registration

Why are we talking about the Stout? Argentinian website Autoweb reported last month that Toyota had registered the Stout name, which has led to rumors about a revival of the nameplate.

This report comes after Jack Hollis, Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations at Toyota North America, spoke to AutoNews in June about the company’s interest in the segment. He said that “there is space” in the U.S. lineup for a small ute-like pickup truck (below the Tacoma) and many reckon that the Stout could be it.

1979 Toyota Stout truck
It was the Stout that introduced the Toyota brand in the light pickup truck market in North America, and provided the Hilux with a base on which it made history. Image: Toyota

Nevertheless, we need to take this with a grain of salt, as standard legal procedures like trademark filings or registrations aren’t always an indication that a manufacturer is working on a car, though they might be interested in doing so at a future date.

It should feature Toyota’s new HMI 

If Toyota builds the Stout, it will likely have a dual-cab layout. On the interior, we expect the company’s Texas-developed infotainment system to be available in multiple touchscreen sizes, depending on the variant. Toyota claims its new system offers five times the processing power compared to the previous generation. 

Will the Toyota Stout feature hybrid-electric powertrains?

One of the big questions is: Will the new Toyota Stout be electrified? As hybrid trucks gain momentum, like the Ford Maverick, which will be the Stout’s chief rival along with the Santa Cruz, there is a solid chance.

About half of the Maverick trucks sold in America in 2022 were hybrids. The electrified powertrain maximizes efficiency while also reducing the total cost of ownership. Another contribution of the electric motor is the instant torque which comes in handy during towing and inclines, and the performance appeal of the extra oomph. 

The success of the Maverick could be the main catalyst for Toyota to consider the compact truck segment seriously. More than 86,000 orders came in on the week when reservations opened for the 2023 model. Meanwhile, the Santa Cruz is also on to something, with YTD sales at 26,803 units.

Update on Toyota’s compact truck expected in early 2023

According to a video posted by automotive technology channel Velocity on September 21, Toyota will release more information about the new entry-level pickup truck in its annual conference named ‘HQ Confidential Three’ set to be held in Q1 of 2023. This annual event, where auto and business journalists from all over the U.S. assemble, serves as a preview of Toyota’s future plans. Here, new product reveals, roundtables, and technology presentations are held, in an auto show-like atmosphere at a Toyota campus. However, Velocity further reported that the pickup truck with smaller loads, which we assume will be the Stout, won’t come out until 2024. 

Featured image: TopElectricSUV’s illustration of the future Toyota Stout.