A pack rat’s dream
Part FJ Cruiser, part Jeep Renegade, Toyota’s recently-debuted FT-4X concept is aimed at urban dwellers looking for a quick escape. Toyota describes the concept using words like “casualcore”, “rugged charm”, and “X theme”. Casualcore refers to the type of duty it is designed for; not necessarily off-roading, but capable of getting to a trailhead or to your favorite campground. Rugged charm speaks to the design, something the similarly sized Jeep Renegade has in spades, and lastly, X theme, which also has to do with the design. The front, sides, and rear all look like ‘X’s standing up with the legs connected at the wheels.
Toyota put increased emphasis on the tailgate area, even designed it from back to front, and included a rear hatch that opens both up (like a traditional hatch) and to the sides in an even split (similar to a MINI Clubman). The latch is big and chunky to make it easy to operate even while wearing gloves.
Ample approach and departure angles, red tow hooks, as well as beefy fender flares, give the FT-4X a rugged and capable appearance.
Inside, the small sport ute is a mix of swiss army knife and a recovering hoarder’s worst nightmare. Door handles that double as water bottles, a sleeping bag for a center armrest, hot and cold storage bins, drying areas, and gear tie downs are all present.
Other interior pieces include a simple gauge behind the steering wheel with a cell phone mount above for navigation. A drive mode selector is on the steering wheel and the radio ditches a touchscreen in favor of being removable.
Although there are some wild ideas that will never make it to production, the FT-4X is built on the same platform as the C-HR that will be coming out later this year. With crossovers still red hot, this is almost certain to get the green light. Here’s hoping it stays true to the concept and comes out sooner than later.