Ah, millennials. You’re an indecisive, crazy bunch and it shows in the vehicles that carmakers have so far come up just for you. Toyota is the latest one to get into this craze with the FT-4X Concept at the New York International Auto Show. And before you dream about this being the next-generation FJ Cruiser, it’s not.
Instead, it’s specifically targeted for the urbanite who may somehow end up in a casual, albeit unplanned adventure. There’s no need to climb or summit a mountain, Toyota says. A drive to a scenic point will do.
Purely a design concept at this point, the FT-4X Concept is penned by the same studio who did the sexy FT-1 Concept: Toyota’s Caltry Design Research, Inc. Though the concept has no engine inside, Toyota says it could potentially employ a small displacement four banger if they want to bring this vehicle into production. The uni-body FT-4X Concept rides on the Toyota Next-Generation Architecture (TNGA) C-Platform employing a unibody construction with front MacPherson Struts and rear Double Wishbones. And though this kills off any hardcore off-roading potential, the FT-4X Concept can be equipped with four-wheel drive with a selectable low-range, so that’s something.
The FT-4X Concept uses what Toyota calls “Rugged Charm” as its driving ethos and as such, is driven by characteristics like simplicity, capability, durability, and of course, the Toyota lineage. Stylists use the X Theme with the center of the vertical X being the door handle. It’s actually the widest part of the FT-4X Concept. The same X Theme is also found in the horizontal axis where at the four corners are custom 225/55R18 Goodyear tires.
The front fascia incorporates the X Theme as well with the center of the vertical X being the classic, extra-large Toyota logo flanked by LED headlights. And as a nod to the classic Land Cruiser and Toyota pickups, the FT-4X Concept uses a horizontal orientation for its grille, headlights, and bumper. The driver’s side mirror also has a built-in GoPro Hero 5 Session, because Facebook Live. At the back, the hatch itself is interesting. With the Multi-Hatch mechanism, it opens either horizontally (for easier urban curb side opening) or vertically. A rotatable handle is used to select the hatch’s opening mode.
Inside, Toyota calls the FT-4X Concept a “rolling tollbox.” Designers employed color-coded indicators to determine the space’s purpose with blue being closed storage and orange being open storage. Even the cabin has been sectioned into 3 zones. The Clean Zone is where the front passengers seat, the Wet Zone, and the Rear Cargo Zone. There are more interesting details inside including the use of a The North Face sleeping bag that also functions as an armrest for the front passengers.
In the end, Toyota’s not gunning for folks who’re looking to buy the next classic Land Cruiser or FJ Cruiser. Instead, the FT-4X Concept is going more for “Casualcore” folks who will likely spend most of their time in the city, but will occasionally go out of town to snap the next viral Instagram post. Embodying as Toyota calls it, “Rugged Waku-Doki”, the FT-4X Concept is rolling proof that millennials and Generation Y are going for cars that look like they’re living the high life, but in reality, are means to escape the doldrums of cubicle life.