At the end of production for the FJ Cruiser, there were a lot of 4X4 journo’s holding their breathes. The thought was that we may well get a replacement with a bit more off-road go maybe even back to solid axles and serious potential. Toyota, unfortunately, have let us down again, with the ‘Future Toyota – Adventure Concept’ (FT-AC Concept) unveiling at the LA Auto Show.
Why Toyota… Why?!
Our worst fears have now been realised. What we have, is essentially a Rav4 with some bolt on panels and other trickery. Don’t get us wrong, it’s kinda sporty, kinda cool, pretty aggressive looking, but that’s where our interest stopped.
The FT-AC Concept, according to Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager, the “FT-AC is perfect for those outdoor enthusiasts who want to dial up the adventure on their weekend getaways. No matter the roads, the activities, or the people, FT-AC sparks authentic fun and conversation.”
Aside from the obvious design features, there are interesting little choices that have been made that you’d really question their point. LED fog-lights that can be taken out of their pods, and taken for a walk or a ride, as it has a handlebar attachment.
Rolling on 20’s? Really?
Yep. 20″ wheels with beefier all-terrain tyres are also one of the features emphasising “it’s powerful stance… …and help accentuate its commanding look” according to the official Toyota Press Release. This is obviously despite the fact that the first decent pot hole or rut you hit at speed is most likely going to crack, or completely obliterate that nice shiny 20″ wheel.
Up on the roof there is a ‘safari-style’ roof basket moulded into the roof panelling, with LED marker lights in the corners for ambient lighting when camping, or act as a flash for the mirror cameras. Oh, yeah, there are removable cameras on the wing mirrors. Yes, really. No, we’re not joking. Really. Oh, and they’re removable too so you can mount them on your bike with the fog lights.
Thus far, the FT-AC Concept has only been offered with a petrol powered engine (however no specs as yet), with an “Advanced torque-vectoring All-Wheel-Drive system”. Toyota has also hinted at the idea of a hybrid version of the FT-AC Concept, delivering all of the above.
All in all, we’re just not excited. The world has enough soft-roader’s, and unfortunately, it looks a lot like we just got another one – albeit a slightly angrier looking one.
Basically if you want to drive on dirt roads or grasslands that more closely resemble a solid bitumen covered surface than the Bruce Highway does, you’ve got a winner. Even whilst sipping the chai, double organic, gluten free, vegan based, latte.
Note: The writer reserves the right to retract all of these comments after he has actually driven one. But last time he held his breath on a Toyota concept, we had to get the jumper cables out, and run a compressor up his nose to get him started again.