Toyota has unveiled the FT-4X Concept – or, “Future Toyota Four-Wheel Drive Crossover” – at the New York motor show.
Penned by the company’s Calty design studio in California and aimed at “casualcore” Millennials, or members of so-called Generation Y who are “fond of the outdoors, but operate almost always indoors”, Toyota is describing the vehicle as a four-wheel drive “toolbox”.
“As designers, we’re investing deep thought into the emotional connection with our cars,” explains Calty boss, Kevin Hunter. “We focused on how a crossover vehicle can add fun and value to casual adventures both in and out of the city, thinking about how someone would use it, and what they would love to do with it.”
Sitting on 18-inch wheels, the FT-4X stands 1623 mm tall, 4249 mm long, and has a wheelbase of 2639 mm. Visually-speaking, the SUV’s boxy, rugged-look exterior is marked with Toyota’s “X Theme” design language that can be seen across its current crop of road-going cars, while at the same time certain elements pay homage to classic FJ Land Cruisers and pickup models of yesteryears.
Mechanical details include a rear hatch that opens two ways: horizontally in “Urban Mode”, and vertically in “Outdoor Mode”. The former splits the hatch in half and makes for easier curbside gear loading when clearance is limited; the latter opens the one-piece hatch upward, creating an impromptu shelter from the elements. The door’s design also incorporates a rotatable handle that users turn to select its opening mode.
The utility-focused interior, meanwhile, features lots of storage boxes, all-weather mats and even a North Face sleeping bag that is disguised as an armrest set between the front passenger seats.
Although there is no traditional navigation screen, the designers have added a mobile phone mount directly above the driver’s digitised cylindrical instrument cluster. The concept being that a downloadable navigation application, as well as an application showing digitised off-road instrumentation, can be made available for drivers’ use.
As an added tech feature, a GoPro camera is also built into the driver’s side rearview mirror.
Underneath, the FT-4X is based on Toyota’s new global architecture C-Platform and is powered by a “small displacement” four-cylinder engine, while a MacPherson strut front, double-wishbone rear suspension absorbs rocks and potholes.