E3 Spark Plugs Digs the Toyota Minivan-Turned- Ultimate Utility Vehicle

Here's one for stepping outside the automotive design box. Toyota recently released a beast of a ride that's best described as a mashup between a Sienna minivan and a Tacoma pickup truck. Dubbed the Toyota Ultimate Utility Vehicle, it sports a chic black matte 4x4 Sienna body situated atop a Tacoma chassis, an aggressive custom front bumper, rear-hinged front doors and off-road tires.

This cool concept was created as part of the North American Expedition, the second leg of Toyota's Five Continents Driving Project. Known as the Ever-Better Expedition, this portion of the project involves a 140-member team driving a convoy of Toyota's most popular models across North America. Along with the UUV, eight other vehicles will be put through their paces in some of the continent's most challenging driving environments including California's Death Valley in the sweltering summertime, the icy roads of Alaska in winter, Pike's Peak in Colorado and the crazed streets of New York City.

The 110-day drive will take participants over some 16,500 miles of select highways, speedways, icy roads, rocky hill climbs, sand dunes, etc. throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Track the project's progression online and make plans to attend the 2015 SEMA show November 3-6 at Nevada's Las Vegas Convention Center for a firsthand look at this amazing ride.