Toyota FT-4X Concept pays homage to FJ Cruiser… Should Toyota build it?
The Toyota FT-4X Concept has been revealed at the New York Motor Show and “has reincarnated the spirit of FJ Cruisers and other iconic adventure vehicles”.
THE TOYOTA FT-4X CONCEPT (or Future Toyota 4WD Crossover) was revealed overnight at the New York Motor Show. While this thing will be unlikely to make production, there might be elements of it that filter down…
The FT-4X was designed by Toyota’s Toyota’s Calty Design Research studio in California – the same mob responsible for the FJ Cruiser.
In a statement, Calty president Kevin Hunter said the 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,” 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.”
The FT-4X sits on Toyota’s New Global Architecture C-platform, the same platform the new C-HR runs on. The theme for the design is ‘X’.
There’s a vertical X is shaped in the side to provide the widest point at the door handle, “creating a natural protective zone for the occupants. A similar treatment is used for the tailgate,” Toyota said. The horizontal X theme extends to the 18-inch wheels.
The FT-4X gets a “Multi-Hatch tailgate, opens two ways: in urban mode, a horizontal opening splits the hatch in half and makes it easier for kerbside loading of gear. In outdoor mode, the one-piece door opens upwards to create a shelter from the elements”. The rotatable tailgate handle is shaped so it can be gripped by a gloved hand.
Sculpted rocker panels enhance underbody protection and durability while a GoPro camera, built into the driver-side rear-view mirror, captures off-road driving. At the centre of the snout is a Toyota logo flanked by bright LED headlights.
On the inside, there’s a warm and cold cargo box. A flat cargo floor is fitted with tracks for securing luggage and conceals a deep storage compartment, which can be accessed by sliding the floor out (almost like the Millennium Falcon’s smuggler’s compartment… sort of). Ahead of the cargo zone is a wet zone for stowing damp clothing or muddy.
Rear-door armrests have USB outlets; front and rear door handles serve as water bottles; removable inside rear lighting doubles as a torch; and the dome light can serve as an exterior locator or beacon.
A removable multimedia system is part boom box and part in-dash stereo, engineered with an extra-large handle grip. There is no traditional navigation screen, so designers included a mobile-phone mount.
Toyota said: “Although a concept, the FT-4X could potentially employ a punchy, small-displacement four-cylinder engine combined with its mechanical 4WD, selectable low range and front MacPherson strut suspension and rear double wishbones”.
Calty chief designer Ian Cartabiano said: “You can tell that we had a blast designing the FT-4X because it looks fun to use and fun to drive,” Mr Cartabiano said. “We want everyone to interact with this car and feel a sense of delight and excitement.”
Question: Should Toyota build the FT-4X?