For seven years (2007-2014), Toyota actually offered an SUV that could give the Wrangler a run for its off-road money. But lackluster sales led to its elimination, leaving the Wrangler to its own devices once again. Well, at the New York Auto Show, the Japanese automaker has revealed a new concept that look as if it may be a preview of a new Wrangler competitor.
Ladies and gents, meet the new FT-4X Concept. While this off-roading crossover’s casualcore (instead of hard-core) attitude may eliminate it from the running for many Wrangler buyers, it is aimed directly at the millennial crowd that enjoys comfortable on-road driving with the occasional off-road ventures.
The FT-4X’s designers used an “X theme” when designing this new, rugged crossover. From the side angle, you can see a distinct “X” look with the door handle falling in the center. The rear end also has an “X” look to it.
The FT-4X sits on 18-inch wheels wrapped in 225/55R18 Goodyear All-Season rubber. It stands 63.9 inches tall, 71.7 inches wide, 167.3 inches long, and it rides on a 103.9-inch wheelbase. This makes it slightly longer than the Wrangler, but shorter in height and narrower. Toyota also highlights “generous” approach and departure angles, but failed to reveal specifics.
Inside, Toyota calls the FT-4X’s cabin a “rolling gear box.” While there are no pictures of the cabin, Toyota was quite descriptive, saying it is an open-concept interior and has color-coded storage areas: blue is close storage and orange is open storage. In the hatch area, there are two boxes for additional storage, one box is warm and the other is cold, allowing occupants to keep gear and snacks warm or cold. There are also USB ports in the armrests, door handle that double as water bottles, a ceiling-mounted flashlight, and more.
There is also a unique cargo zone in the hatch area. The floor is completely flat and has topside tracks to secure cargo. There is also a deep storage compartment underneath the floor for additional space.
The FT-4X’s powertrain remains a bit of a mystery, but Toyota did give up a little info. It draws its power from a small-displacement four-cylinder engine. It also boasts a mechanical four-wheel-drive system with a selectable low range for those off-road jaunts.
For now, the Toyota FT-4X is just a concept, but I could see this eventually spawning a production model. Stay tuned for updates on this rugged crossover.