LOS ANGELES – Toyota hints at a spiritual successor to the quirky, off-roading FJ Cruiser SUV with its FT-AC concept unveiled today at the 2017 Los Angeles auto show.
“FT-AC is perfect for those outdoor enthusiasts who want to dial up the adventure on their weekend getaways,” Jack Hollis, Toyota Div. group vice president, says in a statement.
Standing for Future Toyota Adventure Concept, key design features of the FT-AC include a black grille, LED headlights, removable fog lights (for camping or biking treks), a “safari-style” roof rack with front and rear LED lights for nighttime visibility, and skid plates offering rock-and-rut protection given the concept’s short front and rear overhangs.
Without providing dimensions, Toyota notes the green-and-gray FT-AC has a long wheelbase and wide track, partially to give it a commanding look. Also dialing up its menacing appearance are extra-wide fender flares (to help shield the body), 20-in. wheels and all-terrain tires.
Tech features include the roof-rack LEDs’ ability to double as flashes for side-mirror-embedded cameras. The cameras, like the fog lights, are removable.
Footage captured on the cameras can be uploaded immediately thanks to a Wi-Fi hotspot in the vehicle, Toyota says.
Rear-facing LED lights can be switched on or off via a mobile app, while a retractable bike rack can be hidden in a few seconds.
While it tempers enthusiasm for production by noting the FT-AC is a design exercise, Toyota says it sees such a vehicle as having advanced torque-vectoring all-wheel drive for good traction, as well as a gasoline engine or hybrid powertrain, the latter to blend fuel efficiency and AWD “grunt.”
“Who says a hybrid vehicle can only play on pavement?” the automaker asks.
Toyota discontinued the FJ Cruiser in the U.S. in 2014 and the rest of the world in 2016, but has hinted at its return, or at least the launch of a like-minded vehicle.
At this year’s New York auto show, the Japanese automaker displayed the FT-4X concept small CUV and at November’s Tokyo auto show revealed the TJ Cruiser concept van.