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Best and Worst Truck Concepts That Were Never Built

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/12/2015 Erick Ayapana

The truck segment is stronger than ever, but a bit more innovation wouldn't hurt. A number of truck concepts has graced auto show stages through the years, and although many eventually make it to production, some never make it to the showroom floor. What follows are some of the best truck concepts to come from automakers and a few that thankful never made it to production.

Research

Jeep J-12

Moab Jeep Safari© Provided by MotorTrend Moab Jeep Safari The annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, doubles as an off-roading paradise and a showcase of mild and crazy Jeep concepts. Based on the Wrangler Unlimited, the Jeep J-12 concept truck was a follow-up on the NuKizer 715 concept, both showcasing styling cues from the Kaiser Jeep M715 military pickup. Jeep fans are hungry for a production truck, and the J-12 concept is a no-brainer.

Dodge Deora

1965 Dodge Deora Concept© Provided by MotorTrend 1965 Dodge Deora Concept Walking a thin line between custom and concept was the Dodge Deora, which started life as a Dodge A100 cab-forward truck, and, interestingly enough, featured Ford parts. The complex front split door would be nearly impossible for production, but it is perhaps the Deora's coolest feature.

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

2015 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 concept was unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, so it's still considered fairly new (OK, very new). Still, this well-received truck is something off-roaders want in Chevy showrooms sooner than later. Power comes from the 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel I-4, and its beefy suspension and wheel setup provide serious ground clearance.

Mitsubishi GR-HEV

mitsubishi-gr-hev-concept-truck-front-side-view© Provided by MotorTrend mitsubishi-gr-hev-concept-truck-front-side-view At this point any new product from Mitsubishi would be great. The Mitsubishi GR-HEV concept truck was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show with interesting styling and an intriguing powertrain -- a diesel-hybrid setup that combined a 2.5-liter diesel engine and an electric motor.

Jeep Mighty FC

Moab Jeep Safari© Provided by MotorTrend Moab Jeep Safari A throwback to the classic Jeep Forward Control produced from 1956 to 1965, the Mighty FC concept was the wildest concept on display at the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari. The fully functional Mighty FC looked like it rolled off the production line, which made it even more painful to accept that the cool concept would never become a reality.

Nissan Nails

Nissan Nails Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Nissan Nails Concept Back in 2001 Nissan set out to create a concept vehicle that would showcase different ways to contact friends with "communication tools" like cellphones. The end result was the Nissan Nails concept truck, which had a tough-sounding name but looked more like a fragile golf cart.

Ford Ranger II

Ford Ranger II© Provided by MotorTrend Ford Ranger II The futuristic Ford Ranger II bowed in 1967 with a number of neat tricks. For starters, the canopy doors were front-hinged and operated at the push of a button. The back section of the cab transformed to provide either seats for two rear passengers or a flat surface for additional bed space.

Dodge Rampage

2006 Dodge Rampage Concept Front Three Quarter© Provided by MotorTrend 2006 Dodge Rampage Concept Front Three Quarter The Honda Ridgeline would've faced serious competition had the Dodge Rampage concept made it to production. Dodge showed off the unibody truck at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show at a time when the Ridgeline was selling relatively well. The concept was well-received then, but at this point a Dakota successor would make more sense.

Toyota A-BAT

Toyota A Bat Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Toyota A Bat Concept Take a look at the 2016 Toyota Tacoma and Tundra, and it's hard to imagine that the automaker used to produce small trucks. The A-BAT concept truck, however, hinted that Toyota was pondering the return of a truly small truck in its lineup. Although the concept featured a hybrid powertrain, an A-BAT with a simple four-cylinder would be a winning combination for a small and basic truck.

JAC 4R3

jac-4r3-front-three-quarter© Provided by MotorTrend jac-4r3-front-three-quarter The JAC 4R3 concept truck was a blatant clone of the mighty Ford F-150 and was yet another example of how many Chinese automakers shamelessly crib designs from major car companies. Not surprisingly, the 4R3 can't be found on JAC's website, because Ford successfully blocked production of the truck.

Ford Equator

Ford-concepts© Provided by MotorTrend Ford-concepts Ford pondered the sport/utility truck segment with the Equator concept. The truck would've been a direct competitor to the Hummer H2 SUT, complete with clunky styling and questionable utility versus a normal truck. Thankfully, the concept never entered production and was instead auctioned to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims.

Ram Long-Hauler

Ram Long Hauler Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Ram Long Hauler Concept The Ram Long-Hauler concept boasted some staggering stats. Its overall length was 24 feet, its curb weight was just more than 12,000 pounds, and it featured three fuel tanks to carry 170 gallons of diesel. Certainly not practical, the Long-Hauler demonstrated the capabilities of the Ram 5500 Chassis Cab.

Best and Worst Concept Trucks© Provided by MotorTrend Best and Worst Concept Trucks
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