Americans love their utes - or pickups as they call them - and they also love the Toyota Prius, but is this perhaps taking things a little too far? It's a Toyota Prius ute that has been created by bonding a custom tray into the Prius's rear hatch.

Toyota Prius ute

The design features a sliding rear access window and a body-back tub with reasonably factory-looking tray edges. Not-so-robust plastic tubes are then used to line the base of the tray. One aspect that could definitely do with a bit more attention is the not-so-crafty panel work that was required to accommodate the tub.

These images, recently posted on worldcarfans, show the Prius ute in North Carolina sitting in a public car park, suggesting the owner uses the custom hybrid as a daily runabout.

Whether the homemade Prius ute has been legally certified for the road is unknown. We're guessing probably not considering those panel welds on the rear guard look pretty ordinary. The owner has managed to fit the standard rear bumper bar, but there doesn't appear to be any sign of a number plate.

According to reports, Toyota is working on a ute version of the Toyota Prius as part of its plan to bring out five new models in the US over the next three years, all based on the popular hybrid hatch. It is still a bit of a rumour at this stage though.

One of the major hurdles Toyota is said to be facing with the potential hybrid ute is the engineering expense of developing a fuel-efficient vehicle that also caters for a reasonable payload.

If the speculated plans go ahead, the finished product will surely be more effective than this custom creation. Feel free to tell us what you think in the comments section below.