Toyota calls the FT-4X Concept shown at the 2017 New York auto show a modern 4×4 toolbox for the most intrepid urbanites. We believe the four-wheel drive crossover is small, cute, and — surprise! — aimed at millennials.
It reminds us a little bit of the Ford Troller T4 that’s made in Brazil for South Americans. Both look cool thanks to a rugged, chunky profile, but the Toyota concept is a bit more stylized and should appeal to a wider audience.
If the FT-4X concept goes into production, it would likely get a small displacement four-cylinder engine and four-wheel drive, Toyota opines. A MacPherson strut up front and double-wishbone rear suspension would be fitted to tackle roads and potholes.
Toyota’s FT-4X was designed at the company’s Calty Design Research facilities in Newport Beach, California.
“The Toyota 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,” said Kevin Hunter, Calty president in a statement.
“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.”
Toyota designers started with the rear of the vehicle, which features a multi-latch hatch that can open up horizontally with two doors in urban mode and vertically as one-piece in outdoor mode. Outdoor mode also creates an impromptu shelter, Toyota claims. A rotatable handle on the outside of the hatch allows users to switch between the opening options.
The bubble-like exterior design of the FT-4X was built using the Toyota Global Architecture C-Platform and measures 167.3 x 63.9 x 71.7 inches (L x W x H) with a wheelbase of 103.9 inches. It rolls on 18-inch Goodyear All-Season tires, which were teased last month.
“You can really tell that we had a blast designing the FX-4X because it looks fun to use and fun to drive,” adds Ian Cartabiano, Calty studio chief designer.
The window glass is removable and is interchangeable with multiple opaque color or tinted pieces, says Toyota. GoPro cameras are built into the driver’s side rearview mirror to capture the fun gridlock action around the city.
Inside the FT-4X concept is a rolling box that is color coded to identify its storage space — blue is for closed storage and orange is for open storage. There are also twin boxes in the rear for warm and cold storage.
The rest of the concept’s cabin is spilt into three zones — a clean zone for passengers, a wet zone for damp or muddy gear, and a rear cargo zone with a floor that is completely flat. There’s a North Face sleeping bag that resides between the seats in case you feel the need to take a nap.
Toyota says the removable audio system is part boom box and part in-dash stereo. There’s no navigation screen, but a mobile phone mount directly above the driver’s digital instrument cluster so you can use your own phone for GPS directions. It’s a brilliant feature that we’d love to see in all Toyotas. Keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.