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Toyota's made an extremely cute van. We need it

Meet the U Squared, a Toyota of the coolest and most versatile variety

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Toyota has an odd range here in the UK. For every interesting product - the go-anywhere Land Cruiser, the skid-anywhere GT86 - there’s an eye-glazingly sensible hatchback to cancel out its coolness.

Were it to come here, we feel this U2 concept would be filed with the cool cars, even if it is actually a van. And one with a name that brings up rather unfortunate Bono connotations, at that…

They can be sidestepped, though, by correctly referring to this as the ‘U Squared’. It’s making its debut this week at the Canadian International Auto Show, though intriguingly, Toyota has been sitting on the U2 since 2014.

We can’t for the life of us understand why. As vans go, this is no shabbily maintained Transit with a disregard for lane etiquette. The work of Toyota’s North American design studion, it is exceedingly sweet, and we want one.

Note the retracting roof, allowing loads taller than the car to be stowed aboard. The tailgate that can flip down to become a ramp. The floor rails, which mean you can slot more seats (or pop them out) as required. And observe just how flipping cool it looks, with hints of Toyota’s FJ Cruiser SUV, and one of the niftiest speedometers we’ve seen in a long time.

Given it’s described as an ‘urban utility concept’, the option of electrical propulsion seems a safe bet, though Toyota has not yet been drawn on what powers the U2.

And nor do we mind. Here is something not sullied by sporting pretensions. It’s just plain cool, and we need Toyota to free it from the Canadian motor show and make it for real. Agree?

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