It seems that the New York International Auto Show, which will be held next month, is getting more and more interesting. Toyota decided to heat things up, just before it, by announcing a surprise debut of their FT-4X Concept. This one will surely shake things up and make the entire show even more interesting.
Toyota teased everybody with an image (that doesn’t show that much), and sadly they decided to withhold a video which could tell and show us more, but that is OK. What we managed to make from the teaser pic are basically rugged Y-spoke wheels and meaty 225/55 18 inch Goodyear tires (yes the image shows just one, but it is natural to expect that all four are the same). What this tire tells us is that FT-4X Concept is going to be a very rough and rugged off-roader. Since this is all that the photo gives us we had to do some deducing. If you know or not, the vehicles designation FT-4X (discovered last October) suggest to us that it could have a four-wheel drive (4X) and that it is a part of “Future Toyota” projects (FT).
We are all aware that Toyota has a whole bunch of off-road-capable pickups and SUV’s behind its back, but the departure of that retro-styled FJ Cruiser in 2013, sadly left a huge gap in their lineup. Thanks to the confirmation of the new Bronco and Jeep’s next gen Wrangler, this Japanese automaker probably decided it is the time to fill that gap in their ranks and to try their luck in this segment once more.
If you recall, the FJ Cruiser was sold from 2006 to 2013 in North America, and at first sale numbers were incredible, but later they declined heavily, and that was one of the reasons it was pulled from the market. It hosted a very distinctive style on its body-on-frame which makes it still very sought after on the used-vehicle market.
What was even more incredible is that the FJ Cruiser, in its short period of existence, managed to hold to that hardly reachable cult-like following which is something that automakers aim toward and love to preserve. If this is a true attempt by Toyota to see if there is any interest in renewed midsize or compact off-road SUV, the FT-4X Concept will be an excellent mean to achieve this. If you want to see how will this go, stay tuned and we will provide more info on April 12th.