TOYOTA has chosen the New York International Auto Show to debut a radical FX-4X concept that borrows retro reflections of the FJ Cruiser, wrapped up in a boxy Tonka toy package that could steal attention from the Jeep Renegade – if it makes it into production form.
At this stage however, it appears there is no express ticket from show floor to showroom, with the FT-4X confined to design studies and customer evaluation at this stage.
Its angular wheel arches, contrasting roof colour and window line are all similar to the baby Jeep’s aesthetics, while the single-piece headlight surround with bold Toyota branding and blocky bodywork is a nod to the company’s previous retro revival FJ.
According to Kelley Blue Book, the concept is smaller than the large FJ Cruiser that was discontinued in Australia last year and uses the same platform as the recently launched CH-R, which would likely slot the concept into the compact or small segments.
But it is not yet known if the crossover shares the little 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol of the donor car.
The only official word from the Japanese car maker at this stage is a tantalising release that chalks the world debut for 9:10am in the United States, accompanied by the headline: ‘Four Wheeling. Scene Stealing’.
In typical knobbly-tyred, pumped-arch fashion, the Toyota is aimed at youthful outdoorsy types or at least those who aspire to be, and packs a number of features to appeal to those who fantasise about hitting unbeaten trails on the weekend.
At the back end, the concept has a Multi Hatch access system that can hinge upward as per a traditional SUV tailgate, or split down the middle for a pair of barn doors similarly to a Mini Clubman. Its handle dominates the left hand door and would not look out of place on a space station airlock.
The car maker teamed up with apparel and outdoor lifestyle brand The North Face for added wilderness appeal and resulted in a branded sleeping bag, which shares the same camo pattern as the upholstery and doubles as an arm rest between the two front seats.
Other notable features for the great outdoors include door arm rests that also serve as water bottles, a GoPro camera integrated into the door mirror for documenting wild adventures and the centre console stereo unit that can be relocated to play music outside the vehicle.