The expanding universe of the pick-up truck

Canoo pickup 169

Times, and powertrains, are changing – Karl Smith investigates how the pickup truck is finding itself in the middle of an ever-expanding universe of products

The pick-up is the inheritor of the cowboy myth in America – the cowboy and his faithful horse. Now it’s the tradesman or the farmer and his (or her) faithful pick-up. The image and the mythic quality of both still have a strong hold on the American car buying imagination. But times, and powertrains, are changing, and the pickup truck is finding itself in the middle of an ever-expanding universe of products as it enters the third decade of this century.

Truck design has traditionally been a rather conservative endeavour, a three-box design (engine, cab and bed) with minimal surfacing and a strong utilitarian shape. The real design opportunity was at the front face, where a bold grille, headlamp and brand logo composition (hopefully) created a memorable image and down-the-road graphic. With the advent of electric powertrains, new design opportunities are emerging as trucks get a re-think at the most fundamental levels of engineering and design.

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