Automotive

Toyota FT-4X Concept is designed to be a casualcore toolbox

Toyota FT-4X Concept is design...
The FT-4X on show in New York
The FT-4X on show in New York
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According to Toyota’s design team, urban-dwelling millennials like to go on “casualcore” getaway adventures
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According to Toyota’s design team, urban-dwelling millennials like to go on “casualcore” getaway adventures
The FT-4X Concept is aimed towards those "casualcore" adventurers and their needs
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The FT-4X Concept is aimed towards those "casualcore" adventurers and their needs
Lots of throwback reminiscences of past outdoor-ready models of Toyota, most notably the FJ series, are found in the FT-4X Concept
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Lots of throwback reminiscences of past outdoor-ready models of Toyota, most notably the FJ series, are found in the FT-4X Concept
Reaction at the New York International Auto Show (NYAIS) could determine whether the FT-4X inspires a production vehicle
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Reaction at the New York International Auto Show (NYAIS) could determine whether the FT-4X inspires a production vehicle
The flat-decked roof (with integrated tie-downs) and removable rear panel for customization are some of the exterior highlights on the FT-4X Concept from Toyota
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The flat-decked roof (with integrated tie-downs) and removable rear panel for customization are some of the exterior highlights on the FT-4X Concept from Toyota
The FT-4X Concept aims towards the idea of the “new Jeep,” giving a tiny footprint to a larger idea
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The FT-4X Concept aims towards the idea of the “new Jeep,” giving a tiny footprint to a larger idea
Toyota calls the FT-4X Crossover’s design “rugged charm.”
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Toyota calls the FT-4X Crossover’s design “rugged charm.”
Toyota calls this a “Multi-tool Cabin,” which is descriptive for the FT-4X Concept
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Toyota calls this a “Multi-tool Cabin,” which is descriptive for the FT-4X Concept
The left-side window panel can be removed and customized or replaced with another option
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The left-side window panel can be removed and customized or replaced with another option
That flat-floored cargo bay has integrated tie-down and latch points and lifts up to reveal a large storage bin underneath
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That flat-floored cargo bay has integrated tie-down and latch points and lifts up to reveal a large storage bin underneath
The rear hatch can split in half and open to either side, like cargo doors on a van; useful in an urban environment
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The rear hatch can split in half and open to either side, like cargo doors on a van; useful in an urban environment
The rear hatch of the FT-4X also opens upwards, as would be expected of a hatchback vehicle
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The rear hatch of the FT-4X also opens upwards, as would be expected of a hatchback vehicle
Vents to either side of the "glove box" storage bin in the Toytoa FT-4X Concept can rotate up or down to dry clothing or hair
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Vents to either side of the "glove box" storage bin in the Toytoa FT-4X Concept can rotate up or down to dry clothing or hair
The rear seats in the FT-4X fold completely flat and have built-in tie-down points to add to the cargo floor
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The rear seats in the FT-4X fold completely flat and have built-in tie-down points to add to the cargo floor
The rear loading deck of the FT-4X Concept slides forward to add a tabletop or bench as well as to reveal an under-floor storage area
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The rear loading deck of the FT-4X Concept slides forward to add a tabletop or bench as well as to reveal an under-floor storage area
Removable water bottles integrated into the door handles of the FT-4X Concept fall into our "probably gonna get lost" category
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Removable water bottles integrated into the door handles of the FT-4X Concept fall into our "probably gonna get lost" category
The driver's cockpit of the FT-4X features an integrated smartphone mount where the phone becomes the vehicle's instrumentation and navigation system
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The driver's cockpit of the FT-4X features an integrated smartphone mount where the phone becomes the vehicle's instrumentation and navigation system
The FT-4X on show in New York
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The FT-4X on show in New York
The FT-4X on show in New York
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The FT-4X on show in New York
The FT-4X on show in New York
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The FT-4X on show in New York
The FT-4X on show in New York
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The FT-4X on show in New York
The FT-4X on show in New York
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The FT-4X on show in New York
The FT-4X on show in New York
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The FT-4X on show in New York
The FT4X on show in New York
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The FT4X on show in New York
The FT-4X on show in New York
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The FT-4X on show in New York
The FT-4X on show in New York
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The FT-4X on show in New York
The FT-4X on show in New York
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The FT-4X on show in New York
The FT-4X on show in New York
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The FT-4X on show in New York
The FT-4X on show in New York
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The FT-4X on show in New York
View gallery - 29 images

Created by Toyota's design team in California, the FT-4X Concept is an urban utility vehicle aimed towards millennials and their need to "get away." The FT-4X is part FJ and part Tacoma, all in a neat package that is smaller than the RAV4.

According to Toyota's design team, urban-dwelling millennials like to go on "casualcore" getaway adventures. These off-the-cuff, spur-of-the-moment outdoor adventures are the quick afternoon or overnight getaways that reboot the busy urbanites' stressful lives.

The FT-4X Concept aims towards the idea of the "new Jeep," giving a tiny footprint to a larger idea. Where previous generations would turn to a much larger vehicle, such as a Jeep Wrangler or a Ford Bronco, the current generation is probably more likely to choose something smaller.

The flat-decked roof (with integrated tie-downs) and removable rear panel for customization are some of the exterior highlights on the FT-4X Concept from Toyota
The flat-decked roof (with integrated tie-downs) and removable rear panel for customization are some of the exterior highlights on the FT-4X Concept from Toyota

Dimensionally, the FT-4X Concept is smaller than a Toyota RAV4 and sized about on par with a Nissan Juke or just a tad shorter than a Jeep Renegade. In other words, the FT-4X would fit exactly into the compact crossover segment, which is currently the fastest-growing vehicle segment in North America. The new C-HR now fills that space for Toyota.

Toyota calls the FT-4X Crossover's design "rugged charm." That's a good start and although the introduction video for the FT-4X is a bit gimmicky (see it below), we do like the general idea of the concept and are definitely on board with some of its more thoughtful tricks.

For example, the rear hatch of the FT-4X opens upwards, as would be expected of a hatchback vehicle. But it can also split in half and open to either side, like cargo doors on a van. Like Tesla's "falcon wing" doors on the Model X, this is not likely to translate well to a production vehicle, but we do like the idea. The cool space-age handle that twists to switch between these opening modes is a sweet touch as well. It mirrors other Xs found around the FT-4X, including wheels and grille.

The FT-4X Concept aims towards the idea of the “new Jeep,” giving a tiny footprint to a larger idea
The FT-4X Concept aims towards the idea of the “new Jeep,” giving a tiny footprint to a larger idea

On the roof of the FT-4X Concept are tie-downs meant to allow cargo to be strapped to the flat deck-styled rooftop. Integrated with a couple of those tie-down points are 120V outlets, which can conveniently add power to a campsite, beach, etc. Add to that the nostalgic front and rear fascia elements that beckon reminders of the FJ Cruiser and there's some heritage thrown into this concept as well.

Inside, the FT-4X Concept has more to showcase. Toyota calls it a "Multi-tool Cabin," which is descriptive. We'd also add "Some of these things will get lost" but that's not good PR. The built-in cooler and heater for food, beverages, or gear is pretty neat. Imagine heating your ski gloves on the way to the slopes or cooling a t-shirt and soda for the evening drive back from the beach. Awesome.

Toyota calls this a “Multi-tool Cabin,” which is descriptive for the FT-4X Concept
Toyota calls this a “Multi-tool Cabin,” which is descriptive for the FT-4X Concept

Other great touches include the sleeping bag strapped in to become an integrated armrest (Jeep owners have long done this) and the "dirty" and "clean" storage options, color-coded to keep gear stowed correctly. Especially the deep storage compartment beneath the rear cargo floor, which is the perfect place for items that aren't needed in a rush.

Items that we put into the "Useful, but likely to get lost" category include the removable lighting that's found throughout the cabin, the door handles-cum-water bottles, and the removable "boom box" in-dash stereo. Cool touches include the rotating air vents that can be used to dry clothing (or hair) and the integrated GoPro camera in the rearview mirror. The idea of using your smartphone for navigation and instrumentation is also cutting-edge, hitting the Gen Y group squarely.

The left-side window panel can be removed and customized or replaced with another option
The left-side window panel can be removed and customized or replaced with another option

Although it is easy to make fun of some of the individual items shown on the FT-4X Concept, it's a thoughtful undertaking that looks at something that is only partially addressed in today's vehicle market. Urban-capable, outdoor-ready escape vehicles are not new, but are rarely this well thought out.

The point of the FT-4X is to show what is possible, not necessarily to show off a planned model for production. In many ways, though, this concept is definitely something that would catch an audience. Reaction at the New York International Auto Show (NYAIS) could determine whether the FT-4X inspires a production vehicle. Given that the new C-HR is aimed towards that segment, perhaps an FT-4X special edition might be possible?

Source: Toyota

View gallery - 29 images
5 comments
Jeff Carter
This is rad Toyota! Please put it into production
Dax Wagner
In other words, they just re-invented and re-packaged the Scion xB which they just discontinued.
LarryWolf
It's not electric so it's no good don't bother making it.
Jeff Goldstein
We have and love our FJ Cruser. Toyota needs to start making it again. This concept car just seems very gimicky with a lot of little things that will just get lost. It just seems kind of useless. Toyota should just start making the FJ Cruiser again. Ours has over 100,000 miles on it and we would love to be able to buy a new one in the future. The FT-4x just seems like a very poor imitation.
RecycledSalt
Some neat ideas inside, but the first thing I thought of when I saw the outside was AMC Gremlin.