Nissan's One-Off Leaf Pickup Truck Is One Cute Electric Ute

Nissan's Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car (“LEAF”, get it?) was introduced into the Japanese and American markets back in December of 2010 and over 130,000 of the compact, five-door hatchback electric cars had been sold by August of 2014 – 58,000 of them in the United States alone.

Not bad for a single-body-style-only vehicle sold in a country where the best-selling vehicle for the past 32 years has been the Ford F-150 pickup truck. Imagine how many Leafs Nissan could move if they offered the diminutive plug-in EV with a functional rear cargo bed.

Oddly enough, a group of engineers at Nissan's Arizona proving grounds imagined the same thing. What's more, since they're actual Nissan engineers they've got the skills, resources and tools required to create something all of us can only dream about: a Nissan Leaf pickup.

Now hold onto your horses, the very cute and very ute-like Leaf pickup shown here won't be featured in any Nissan Showroom anytime soon. Instead, the red rover is a unique, one-off design exercise built to shuttle people and goods around Nissan's tech center and proving grounds in Stanfield, AZ.

"We tried to keep it a secret and be exciting for everybody,” explained Nissan's Roland Schellenberg, “but we have visitors and they come and they see that truck and they go straight to 'What is it?' and they start looking at it, and it makes great conversation."

Conversation is one thing, sales & profits are another. As the Leaf Pickup basically melds the front end of a Leaf with the hindquarters and bed of a Nissan Frontier pickup, all the pieces are in place for a possible production run. One caveat is that, according to Nissan's AZ engineers the Leaf Pickup is “not very tough”... something the “Built Ford Tough” F-150 marketing team could have a field day with. (via The Truth About Cars and AutoBlog)