NATS Toyota Alphard Super Dually at 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon – luxury MPV turns lowrider dual-cab pick-up

NATS Toyota Alphard Super Dually at 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon – luxury MPV turns lowrider dual-cab pick-up

A showcase such as the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon taking place this week, featuring customised vehicles will bring a broad variety of custom works which ranges from mild to wild, and it would be safe to say that this creating from the Nihon Automobile College (NATS) is among the more outlandish.

Shown here is the NATS Alphard Super Dually, built by the students of the Nihon Automobile College to merge the Toyota Alphard MPV with the rear half of a pick-up truck, along with dually rear wheel look, hence its name.

From the front, the NATS Alphard Super Dually appears to wears much of the standard front fascia, and aft of the front end is where things already get interesting. Out go the original exterior mirrors for outsized, chrome-finished units as typically seen on American full-size trucks, while the front edge of the roof, at the top of the windscreen are a row of yellow marker lights.

For the rear quarters, access is now by coach-style or ‘suicide’ rearward-opening doors in place of the original sliding units, which certainly offers more visual drama to the proceedings. What’s originally the middle row of the Alphard retains the plush chairs, and behind those is where the double-cab layout ends, and where the cargo bed begins.

This cargo bed has been adapted from a Toyota Hilux, and according to an earlier work-in-progress report, the rear end of the MPV was cut on a jig to ensure that the bodyshell remained straight when it was time to join with the pick-up truck cargo bed.

In place of the the more utilitarian black bed liner that is commonplace on mass-production pick-up trucks, this Alphard Super Dually gets a wooden base with a cutout for custom plumbing, and the merging of the two styles also meant that the fuel filler inlet has had to be relocated to the inside of the cargo bed. In keeping with the brand identity, tail lamps from the Hilux are used.

The rear section of this NATS project appears to have taken a different design direction compared to the sketches initially shown, where the Alphard Super Dually was intended to be transport for a low-rider motorcycle.

However, the conversion has retained the independent rear suspension of the OEM Alphard, enabling it to attain the copious amounts of negative camber as desired in the custom-build circles, thus also enabling the rear wheels to be tucked into the fabricated wheelhouse extensions when lowered.

The luxury of an upscale MPV, combined with the utility – to an extent – of a pick-up truck bed. A compelling combination of bodystyles and use cases? What do you think, folks?

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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.




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