• Toyota FT-AC Concept Previews Hybrid SUV in Los Angeles

Promises to take outdoor fun to a new level

The cool thing about Toyota is that it produces a wide range of crossovers and SUVs that are affordable, reliable, and off-road-capable at the same time. Granted, some might be a bit boring to look at, but this could change in the near future. At least that’s what the new FT-AC concept suggests. Unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the FT-AC, which comes from Future Toyota Adventure Concept, promises to make weekend getaways a more fun and exciting experience.

About the size of a current RAV4, the FT-AC sports a very rugged look with massive wheel arch extensions, a beefy underbelly plate, and front bumper assembly, and a concept roof rack. Up front, the off-road-specific features are combined with aggressive-looking, swept-back headlamps, and a grille that’s actually similar to a few production models. The rear is a combination of angular features, with the taillights’ sharp edges extending well into the bumpers. The bumper features a big protective plate at the bottom, while a special rack holds a mountain bike. More protection can be seen on the side skirts, while the off-road tires complete the off-road-capable look.

The concept comes with a few cool convenience features too. For starters, the roof rack’s LED lights can be controlled via a mobile device, while the capable geolocation system ensures you won’t get lost no matter the trail you tackle. The side mirrors include infrared cameras that can record trail runs, but they can also be removed and mounted off-vehicle. An integrated Wi-Fi hotspot uploads footage to cloud-based storage for instant access via mobile devices

Finally, Toyota says that the production version of the FT-AC could be a hybrid and use a drivetrain that’s both capable and fuel-efficient. The Japanese firm also talks about an advanced torque-vectoring AWD system, variable terrain-response settings, and four-wheel lock functionality, but doesn’t give additional details. All told, the FT-AC could become a very interesting production SUV, even if Toyota decided to tone its design down a bit.


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Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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Press release

Long live new adventures! With the Future Toyota Adventure Concept, or FT-AC, comes the ideal versatility for living an active lifestyle, allowing deeper exploration to take life’s journeys even further. FT-AC is a catalyst – it’s both the invitation and the medium for breaking day-to-day routines and embracing the unexpected.

It’s no coincidence then that FT-AC makes its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, in a city where much of the population escapes to the hills, deserts, or beaches for their much-needed weekend recharges after a long week of work.

“FT-AC is perfect for those outdoor enthusiasts who want to dial up the adventure on their weekend getaways,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager, Toyota division. “No matter the roads, the activities, or the people, FT-AC sparks authentic fun and conversation.”

Representing the next level in Toyota’s adventure-loving lineup of concept vehicles, FT-AC provides the right instrument for a wide mix of excursions, be they on paved roads or not.

Fun on the Journey

FT-AC reminds adventurers of all skill levels how remarkable the trip – not just the destination – can be. Going for a paddle on the river. Climbing a favorite rock face. Hitting a trail on a mountain bike. FT-AC is experience-centric. It compels. Any wheel time in FT-AC brings genuine facetime with the friends aboard.

It puts versatility at the forefront of its ethos and, in doing so, invites passengers to personalize - and accentuate - each trip. Acknowledging that adventures vary in scope and scale, FT-AC’s innate versatility is a strength that caters to various lifestyles, preferences, and even generations.

One-of-a-Kind Adventure

At first glance, it is evident that FT-AC’s bold and daring design reflects the confident spirit of Toyota’s existing SUVs and trucks.

The pronounced, wide, black, front grille is flanked with bright LED headlights. Fog lights brighten the road ahead during foul weather or poor conditions and can even be taken out from their pods and used as portable lights. The fog lights can be attached to a mountain bike for occasional night rides. Below, FT-AC has twin hooks for vehicle recovery. Skid plates help protect the short front and rear overhangs, so rocks, ruts, and just about anything else will have trouble slowing down the rig.

FT-AC was designed around a long wheelbase and wide track to help emphasize its powerful stance. Extra wide fender flares provide body shielding and look as if they float above the 20-inch wheels and beefier all-terrain tires, both of which help accentuate its commanding look. Its impressive footwear and generous ground clearance provide drivers with more options as to where FT-AC can go and play.

The safari-style cargo roof rack system can haul all types of adventure gear. LED marker lights at its front corners can provide ambient lighting around the vehicle, brighten the trail ahead or, if desired, act as a flash for the side mirrors’ embedded cameras.

The infrared cameras on the side mirrors can record trail runs and, like the fog lights, can be removed and mounted off-vehicle so that no fun goes undocumented. An integrated Wi-Fi hotspot automatically uploads footage to cloud-based storage where real-time editing and posting can be accessed via mobile device. The Wi-Fi connectivity even gives adventure-goers the ability to livestream the fun to fans and followers.

The roof rack’s rear-facing LED lights also aid nighttime visibility and can be controlled via mobile device as well. Also at the rear is an innovative integrated bike rack that retracts, making for a highly useful feature that can be securely hidden in only a few seconds. Lastly, drivers and passengers can utilize FT-AC’s geolocation capabilities for directions back to basecamp.

FT-AC’s contrasting colors combine Prospect Green with Fortress Gray accents to highlight its go-anywhere brashness.

Envisioned Capabilities

Although currently a design experiment, FT-AC has been imagined as a thoroughly capable gasoline-powered vehicle with an advanced torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. This enables power to be routed, as needed, for excellent controllability and maximum traction. Variable terrain-response settings and 4-wheel lock functionality build on its capability by managing traction control and throttle response to maximize grip at each wheel for a more dynamic driving experience.

And who says a hybrid vehicle can only play on pavement? FT-AC could offer a next-generation hybrid powertrain that blends fuel efficiency with rugged all-wheel-drive grunt, giving drivers better power, responsiveness, and impressive fuel economy – all without compromise.

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