Toyota FT-AC Concept

Toyota is at it again; after showcasing several concepts in its native Japan recently at the Tokyo Motor Show, the automaker yet again exhibited a new compact crossover concept at the LA Motor Show.  Toyota had first released teaser images of the model to capture the attention of enthusiasts ahead of its public debut. The new compact crossover is christened the “ Toyota FT-AC Concept ” (Toyota Future Adventure Concept).

Toyota FT-AC Concept

Toyota FT-AC Concept Exterior

The Toyota FT-AC Concept looks very rugged which immediately betrays its off-road orientation. The front fascia leads the way with a huge front bumper and gigantic skid plates. It gets even better; the model’s fog lights are removable; at night, one can use the units as flashlights which make the units a wise ploy by the automaker. The side profile continues with this aggressive design with hovering fender flares. In addition, in place of traditional side skirts are ore skid plates. To help you traverse the off-road terrain, the concept is fitted with 20-inch wheels draped in thick all-terrain tires. The roof is equipped with a safari-style roof rack complete with LED marker lights mounted on all four corners. A bike rack is also hidden under the rear bumper; it’s pulled out when needed and retracted back when not in use.

Millennials are not left out; these individuals are all about being “seen” in the outdoors and not necessarily enjoying the outdoors. To this end, Toyota has equipped the concept with removable side cameras which are fitted above the side mirrors. The cameras are used as Go-Pro-like cameras. Photos and videos captured can be readily uploaded to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook since the model is equipped with a Wi-Fi connection.

Interior

Toyota did not reveal how the FT-AC concept looks inside but most probably the model was just meant to display its aggressive exterior styling meaning inside it was only a skeleton. This is further evidenced by the blacked out windows and windshield meaning Toyota wanted to gauge public views regarding a potential aggressive compact crossover.

Engine and performance

The automaker also did not talk about what drives the Toyota FT-AC concept but hinted that the compact crossover will have a gasoline engine with an advanced torque-vectoring system as well as AWD to ensure the model traverses off-road terrains with ease. The automaker also hinted about the possibility of an advanced hybrid drive-train for the FT-AC concept.

Conclusion

Although Toyota currently sells several compact CUVs in the U.S. market, the automaker believes the market has a room for yet another model. Toyota may, however, be looking to produce a new CUV to overcome the shortcomings of the CH-R. The C-HR is mostly seen as a raised hatchback rather than a compact crossover; in addition, the C-HR does not offer AWD even as an option, something that came as standard in the FT-4X and which I believe will also be standard in the  FT-AC Concept when a better equipped FT-AC concept is showcased in future. Also, while the C-HR is largely a city vehicle, the new FT-AC concept is meant for outdoor lifestyle buyers who traverse the off-road terrains regularly such as going for weekend camping, hiking, mountain-biking and fishing among other outdoor activities. Due to this, the automaker believes the new concept will have its unique buyers and thus sell side-by-side with the Toyota C-HR without either model cannibalizing sales of the other.

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