Toyota SUV lineup is simply the vast. From subcompact to full-size specimens, from crossovers even missing AWD to hard-core off-road SUVs full of differential lockers. Recent brand’s aspirations, probably due to the mentioned product type saturation, leaned toward style. Funky, groovy, expressively fashionable style. Latest subcompact product or CH-R fits there, but Japanese doesn’t plan to stop now. If you wonder what else is there to offer since every segment gap is pretty much filled, 2017 Toyota FT-4X Concept revealed earlier this year, might provide an answer.
NO, IT’S NOT FJ CRUISER’S SUCCESSOR, PROBABLY…
The first glimpse at this thing instantly evokes FJ Cruiser memories. But maybe it shouldn’t. Discontinued SUV was mid-size one, this concept falls two segments below, seating on CH-R’s underpinnings. More importantly, FJ was serious off-roader with ladder frame chassis, while FT, despite its ruggish appearance, is as “soft as it can get” crossover, probably scared of shallow mud.
Toyota mentions actual 4WD system with low-range gearing, but we are not so sure about that, if and when production version hits the public roads. Still, we shouldn’t rule out any possibility if this concept sees production lines, but this seems more as Honda’s Element or Scion’s xB flavors to us. Both mentioned things turned out to be failures according to sales charts, but still present Kia’s Soul, resorting to similar body shape approach, annihilates all rivals with annual numerals.
The above-written phrase is the one Toyota uses to describe this little SUV. It fits perfectly. As boxy as it can get, you won’t find any line defying overall angularity, and amount of plastic cladding, flared front fenders, tow hooks, scarce interior and chunky tires justify the first word. They also contribute to the “charm” part, but contrast colored roof and grille, funky tailgate with different modes of opening, removable interior lighting which can act as flashlight, sleeping bag as an armrest and water bottles as door handles seal the deal.
The quirkiness of the Pontiac Aztec’s interior has been finally outmatched… Why does this thing resemble Fj Cruiser so much? Because they share same inspiration. That would be legendary Land Cruiser FJ40 introduced in 60’s, and white grille surrounding headlights, the shape of mirrors, and barn-like tailgate opening, among else, specifically prove that in case of this concept.
2017 TOYOTA FT-4X CONCEPT RELEASE DATE AND PRICE
2017 Toyota FT-4X Concept is a concept as the name implies and it doesn’t have release date or price. In fact nobody is sure whether it is ever going to reach production, despite Toyota stated it is 75% production ready. But the timing couldn’t work better in its favor. Subcompact crossovers are fastest growing non-luxury SUV segment for some time now in the US and actual sales figures of proper off-road SUVs are on the rise. FT-4X could keep it grounded with car-like underpinnings, but spicing things up with rough off-road flavors, probably remaining in the realm of visual. And it probably wouldn’t cannibalize same segment’s CH-R twin as those two strike different palates. At the end, Mercedes plans to do the same to GLA with upcoming GLB shaped as baby G-Wagon. Your move Toyota…