Toyota is planning to bring a concept FT-4X to next month’s New York International Auto Show. Future Toyota (FT) could be competition for the new Wrangler and Bronco. Well its the FJ Cruiser successor so it will be better by default, maybe not from certain aspects like not being truck based but aside from that it will be good on the current industrys standards. Been very pleased with Toyota products so far, this will be a treat, still not enough to kill my Wrangler loyalty.
This is less of a vehicle and more of a giant, rolling Leatherman multi-tool with four-wheel drive. The look is chunky Tonka-toy, with useful tricks such as interior door handles that double as water bottles, warm and cool storage boxes, a ceiling-mounted flashlight and a sleeping bag that fits between the seats and serves as an armrest. From the design group that created the polarizing FJ Cruiser comes a concept for buyers seeking casual adventures, combining off-road capabilities with urban-focused compact proportions and efficiency.“We focused on how a crossover vehicle can add fun and value to casual adventures both in and out of the city,” said Kevin Hunter, president of Toyota’s Calty Design Research center in California.
Unlike the discontinued FJ Cruiser, the FT-4X uses the classic FJ40 Land Cruiser’s looks to inspire its styling, not to determine its design. Details such as the concept’s upright windshield, flared front fenders, short overhangs, white-painted roof, and horizontal front face with block “Toyota” lettering in place of the traditional “T” badge connect the FT-4X to its Land Cruiser lineage.
The exterior design includes nods to Toyota’s classic FJ Land Cruisers, such as tie-down hooks and the horizontal orientation of the grille, headlights and bumper, the company said. The FT-4X (meaning Future Toyota Four-Wheel Drive) is sized like the Kia Soul, measuring 167.3 inches long and 63.9 inches tall. Within those measurements, space is enhanced through a minimalist interior design and the ability for the rear seat to fold flat, opening up a large storage space. The cargo floor can slide to the rear, opening a hidden space. The exterior design is distinctly rugged and far more squared off than some of Toyota’s other offerings,like the new C-HR compact crossover.
The trick rear hatch, dubbed the “Multi-Hatch” by Toyota, opens both upward and sideways. At the center of the concept vehicle’s nose is a classic, extra-large embossed toyota logo, flanked by bright LED headlamps. like the rear, reflective tie down hooks set in the lower bumper enhance the crossover’s looks and functionality. another nod to classic ‘FJ land cruisers’ and pickup models of years-goneby is the recognizable horizontal structure of the ‘FT-4X’s’ grille, headlights, and bumper.
The boxy FT-4X’s interior design is a modern take on the basic themes employed by youth-courting precursors such as the Honda Element and the Scion xB. Centered around the mindset of today’s outdoorsy twentysomethings, the FT-4X has water bottles built into the front and rear doors, a ceiling- mounted light in the rear that can be removed and used as a flashlight, a front dome light that also serves as an exterior beacon, and a sleeping bag that stores in the center console to become a central armrest when not being slept in. Other cool stuff includes a removable audio system and a glove box surrounded by rotating air vents that can warm up, cool down, or dry off items such as gloves or other clothing. Navigation functions are handled via the owner’s mobile phone, which slides into a socket atop the digital gauge cluster.
Since this is a concept, there isn’t actually an engine under the hood. Toyota says that it could potentially employ a small-displacement four- cylinder that would send power through a mechanical four-wheel drive system. With a selectable low-range, it would have some genuine off-road credentials. In order to remain composed on the road, the FT-4X uses MacPherson front struts and a double wishbone rear suspension. “Albeit a concept, one could assume the FT-4X could potentially employ a small- displacement four-cylinder engine,” Toyota said. The C-HR has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplant putting out 144 hp.
There is no competition for the Wrangler at the end of the day and the FT-4X isn’t anything to worry about. Should Toyota build it? There is no word on if the FT-4X will make it into production.