The spirit of the FJ Land Cruiser and FJ Cruiser was revived at the 2017 New York Auto Show with the Toyota FT-4X concept. Unlike its FJ ancestors however, the FT-4X is more aimed at millennials than baby boomers, and is more a modern-day SUV take on the former square cars Nissan Cube, Honda Element and Toyota’s own Rukus – all of which are no longer in production.
The FT-4X is based on Toyota’s new TNGA platform that underpins the C-HR small SUV, and the concept car is powered by a “punchy, small displacement engine” which could be Toyota’s new 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo unit.
The Toyota FT-4X was designed at the firm’s California Calty design studio. Combining compact dimensions with a look borrowed from its FJ ancestors, Toyota said that the FT-4X Features “compact, sturdy dimensions, the “rugged charm” design of the FT-4X places value on simplicity, capability, durability and Toyota lineage.”
Calty president Kevin Hunter said the Toyota FT-4X demonstrated that designers continually invested deep thought into the emotional connection with their cars.
“The FT-4X is not simply a concept where style meets function; it is a thoughtful, charming and engaging experience that adds real pleasure and convenience to the journey,” Mr Hunter said.
“We focused on how a crossover vehicle can add fun and value to casual adventures both I and out of the city, thinking about how someone would use it, and what they would love to do with it.”
It’s obvious that the Toyota FT-4X was designed with younger buyers in mind – it’s packed with clever and funky design details that ensure that it will never be mistaken for your average RAV4. The exterior is bright and bold, yet still draws inspiration from its FJ ancestors with upright dimensions and chunky details.
The FT-4X is all about the details – the tailgate, for example, can open vertically or split-open horizontally depending on the environment the car is in and is operated by a handle that is able to be used by a gloved hand. There are bright red tow hooks at each end for vehicle recovery and tying down loads. A vertical window above the driver’s side rear fender can be removed and swapped with multiple colour or tinted class options, which allows owners to personalise their FT-4X.
While the exterior stands out for being bold, the interior combines a similar amount of boldness with clever practicality and storage solutions. The cabin itself is divided into a “clean zone” where occupants are, a “wet zone” around the rear seats where you can wash out with water and a “cargo zone” with a flat floor and sliding tracks in the headliner to safety attach camping gear.
The FT-4X features torches that are removable for outdoor use, as is the car’s stereo in the front. The rear door of the car can also open vertically or horizontally depending on the surrounding environment.
In the front of the cabin, the Toyota FT-4X continues the practical theme. The interior door handles double as bottles for occupants to remove from the car, the left side exterior mirror feature an in-built GoPro to capture every adventure and there is even a North Face sleeping bag in between the front seats. Hot and cold boxes sit in the car to keep supplies at their ideal temperatures. There are USB inputs in each of the doors to ensure the car’s owners stay connected with their devices at all times.
The FT-4X is “75 percent production ready”, should the reaction to the concept car be positive. Chasing Cars believes that the FT-4X would be a worthy addition to Toyota’s ever growing SUV lineup. Should the FT-4X enter production, you can expect a debut sometime in 2018.
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