Yamaha's Cross Hub Little Truck Concept Is A Wonderful Vehicle I Know Deep Down We'll Never Get

When it comes to companies that make pianos, flutes, drums, computer networking hardware, car interior components, violins, ATVs, motorcycles, and the occasional car engine, Yamaha might just be my favorite. Now the company that is in dire need of diversification is teasing us with a very novel little truck concept: the Cross Hub, showing this week at the Tokyo Motor Show.


The Cross Hub’s design is overdone and striking in that special concept-car way. The front end sort of resembles a cyberpunk version of a Renault 4CV, but the design has two big surprises, inside and out.

Outside, the gap between the cab and the bed area is novel and unexpected, framed by the silver roll-bar-like structure that also forms the upper side rails of the load bed.

Inside, there’s seats for four, but in a Gordon Murray-inspired diamond formation, with a central driver’s seat. I can’t really decide if it’s just a design stunt or if there’s some actual space-utilization justification for it.

I guess for a concept, all it has to be is attention-grabbing, and it certainly manages that. It seems to be a flexible and useful design. It’s about the size of a Honda CR-V, which puts it in a category of small trucks I’d really love to see more of here in America.


Of course, that’s very unlikely to happen. Even if Yamaha suddenly decides to give in to its deep, secret, and possibly shameful desire to produce cars and trucks under its own name, I’m skeptical that they’d pick America as a good place to launch a small, daringly designed truck.


It’s bigger, but it sort of reminds me of a modernized Suzuki Mighty Boy, which is high praise.


No details about drivetrain or anything like that were provided, since this is very much just a design concept. I’m cautiously hopeful that this will be a an actual future direction for Yamaha, though, possibly targeted at their existing base of violin buyers.

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Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)