Automotive

Toyota explores the outdoors with the FT-AC adventure vehicle concept

Toyota explores the outdoors w...
Like the FT-4X from earlier this year, the FT-AC is just a concept, but these urban-to-wilderness concepts do show a pattern of thinking at Toyota
Like the FT-4X from earlier this year, the FT-AC is just a concept, but these urban-to-wilderness concepts do show a pattern of thinking at Toyota
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Toyota reveals the FT-AC concept at the 2017 LA Auto Show
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Toyota reveals the FT-AC concept at the 2017 LA Auto Show
The FT-AC has front and rear skid plates to protect against rough ground
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The FT-AC has front and rear skid plates to protect against rough ground
The Toyota FT-AC's fog lights can be pulled out and used as bike lights for night mountain biking or other after-dark pedaling
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The Toyota FT-AC's fog lights can be pulled out and used as bike lights for night mountain biking or other after-dark pedaling
Perhaps the most polarizing part of the design, the floating fender flares do add to the rugged look but they also look a little strange. We think more traditional fender flares would work better
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Perhaps the most polarizing part of the design, the floating fender flares do add to the rugged look but they also look a little strange. We think more traditional fender flares would work better
Toyota's press release doesn't list all the dimensions, but the company does cite a wide track, long wheelbase and generous ground clearance
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Toyota's press release doesn't list all the dimensions, but the company does cite a wide track, long wheelbase and generous ground clearance
The FT-AC includes a slide-out underbody tray that works as a bike carrier
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The FT-AC includes a slide-out underbody tray that works as a bike carrier
The Toyota FT-AC concept offers plenty of cargo hauling with its roof basket and slide-out bike carrier
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The Toyota FT-AC concept offers plenty of cargo hauling with its roof basket and slide-out bike carrier
The Toyota FT-AC - "both the invitation and the medium for breaking day-to-day routines and embracing the unexpected"
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The Toyota FT-AC - "both the invitation and the medium for breaking day-to-day routines and embracing the unexpected"
Like the FT-4X from earlier this year, the FT-AC is just a concept, but these urban-to-wilderness concepts do show a pattern of thinking at Toyota
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Like the FT-4X from earlier this year, the FT-AC is just a concept, but these urban-to-wilderness concepts do show a pattern of thinking at Toyota
Toyota reveals the FT-AC concept at the 2017 LA Auto Show
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Toyota reveals the FT-AC concept at the 2017 LA Auto Show
Toyota imagines urban dwellers using the FT-AC to escape outside the city and hike, bike, paddle or climb
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Toyota imagines urban dwellers using the FT-AC to escape outside the city and hike, bike, paddle or climb
Toyota FT-AC concept
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Toyota FT-AC concept
A closer look at those floating fenders
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A closer look at those floating fenders
Though Toyota hasn't put it to use on the show floor or in the photos, the safari-style rack offers integrated cargo hauling for adventures of all kinds
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Though Toyota hasn't put it to use on the show floor or in the photos, the safari-style rack offers integrated cargo hauling for adventures of all kinds
Toyota imagines the FT-AC using a gas or hybrid powertrain with AWD and terrain management
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Toyota imagines the FT-AC using a gas or hybrid powertrain with AWD and terrain management
Toyota has a little outdoor fun with the FT-AC concept
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Toyota has a little outdoor fun with the FT-AC concept
Toyota has a little outdoor fun with the FT-AC concept
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Toyota has a little outdoor fun with the FT-AC concept
Deploying the bike rack won't do much for the off-road ride, but at least there's a skid plate below
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Deploying the bike rack won't do much for the off-road ride, but at least there's a skid plate below
The FT-AC rides on 20-in wheels with all-terrain tires
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The FT-AC rides on 20-in wheels with all-terrain tires
The integrated cameras on the side-view mirrors can record the journey and remove to work as action cams
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The integrated cameras on the side-view mirrors can record the journey and remove to work as action cams
A close-up of the removable fog lights
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A close-up of the removable fog lights
Toyota FT-AC LED headlights close-up
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Toyota FT-AC LED headlights close-up
The concept includes integrated recovery hooks
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The concept includes integrated recovery hooks
Close-up of the 20-in wheels
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Close-up of the 20-in wheels
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Much like a kid on summer break, Toyota knows that it wants to play outside, it's just not sure how it wants to go about it. The automaker has been exploring a number of off-road-oriented utility vehicle designs this year, starting with a compact urban escape pod and working through to a gear-hauling MP-SUV. Now it's back with the FT-AC, a ruggedized, urban-to-wild crossover loaded with multifunctional equipment.

Not so different from other small crossovers, the FT-AC – that's "Future Toyota Adventure Concept" – is designed for the active urban adventurer, the weekend warrior that works hard all week and wants to escape to the mountains, desert or beach when tools are put down. It's no coincidence that Toyota debuted the concept in Los Angeles, a city surrounded by a diversity of outdoor opportunities.

Like the FT-4X from the 2017 New York Auto Show, the FT-AC packs some of the rugged off-road heritage inherent in vehicles like the Land Cruiser, 4Runner and Tacoma in a more urban-friendly crossover package. And like the FT-4X, the results are polarizing.

Toyota designers try a little too hard to make up for the softer, crossover-style base by dressing it with stylistic elements like the hovering fender flares, front and rear skid plates, and gear-hauling solutions. It comes across like a highway-bound crossover all dressed up for the SEMA Show.

A closer look at those floating fenders
A closer look at those floating fenders

That said, the FT-AC does have some useful off-road equipment, including beefy all-terrain tires hugging 20-in wheels, "generous" ground clearance and front recovery hooks. The safari-style roof rack up top can hold whatever gear you're bringing along and includes integrated LED lighting for use during driving or at camp. The rear bike carrier pulls out when it's needed and retracts into the bumper when it's not.

The Toyota FT-AC - "both the invitation and the medium for breaking day-to-day routines and embracing the unexpected"
The Toyota FT-AC - "both the invitation and the medium for breaking day-to-day routines and embracing the unexpected"

You don't make a concept like this these days without focusing a bunch of attention on selfie-snapping, social media-sharing millennials, and Toyota hooks them up with removable side cameras that double as action cams, along with integrated Wi-Fi for live-streaming and instant video uploads. The roof rack LEDs work as the flash for those cameras, and the fog lights pull out to work as bike lights.

Toyota hasn't engineered a specific powertrain for the FT-AC, but it imagines gas and hybrid drive options, along with an advanced torque-vectoring AWD system providing traction in all types of situations. It also mentions multiple terrain settings and a four-wheel lock for managing traction.

Toyota has a little outdoor fun with the FT-AC concept
Toyota has a little outdoor fun with the FT-AC concept

Toyota's 2017 adventure show cars have been fun, but we hope the company sticks closer to tradition when releasing a refreshed 4Runner or FJ Cruiser successor. No matter how many skid plates it adds or how burly it makes the fenders, Toyota just won't convince us that a dressed-up urban crossover is a proper Wrangler competitor.

Source: Toyota

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1 comment
VincentWolf
If it isn't electric it's just junk.