It’s the future 4Runner you never knew you wanted

Toyota’s been hitting it big with its recent concept vehicles. This year alone, we’ve seen the Japanese automaker unveil the Concept-i, the FT-4X, and the GR HV Sports Concept. Now that we’re less than a month away from flipping our calendars to 2018, Toyota introduced one last concept at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s called the Future Toyota Adventure Concept (FT-AC), and in my mind, it’s the best Toyota concept to come out this year.

Yes, I’m picking it over the GR HV Sports Concept, the sexy, taiga-style, two-door concept that we first saw at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show last October. I like the GR HV Sports Concept, but given a choice, I’d probably pick the FT-AC Concept over it. There’s something about this angry-looking SUV prototype that’s hard to ignore. Maybe it’s because of its design. Perhaps it’s because of the assortment of tech and connectivity features it has. It might even be a combination of both. The FT-AC is a concept that screams to my imagination, telling me to tell Toyota to turn it into a production model. I don’t know if I have that kind of cache, but I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to seeing it happen.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Toyota FT-AC Concept

Official video

Exterior

2017 Toyota FT-AC Concept
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The Toyota FT-AC is dripping with ruggedness, which I suppose is exactly what Toyota was going for when it decided to develop the concept

The Toyota FT-AC is an angry-looking creation. It’s dripping with ruggedness, which I suppose is exactly what Toyota was going for when it decided to develop the concept. The front section looks especially mean with bulges popping out everywhere. The front bumper is enormous and those massive skid plates are begging for attention. The fog lights draw their own kind of attention, partly because they’re actually removable and can be used as flashlights. That’s some kind of neat trick, Toyota. Well done.

Toyota designers didn’t let up on the side profile of the concept either. The hovering fender flares look unnecessary, but they do capture the image Toyota was going for in emphasizing the concept’s off-roading abilities. There are ore skid plates on this section, put in place of traditional side skirts. Likewise, those 20-inch wheels wrapped in beefy all-terrain tires are the exact ones you’ll need when you go off the beaten path. Move to the roof, and you’ll see a safari-style roof rack that comes with LED marker lights at the front corners. Speaking of these lights, similar LEDs can be found on the back of the roof rack, helping illuminate the built-in bike rack that can be pulled out from under the bumper when needed and retracted back into the bumper when it’s not used.

2017 Toyota FT-AC Concept Exterior
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The FT-AC Concept is a car built for the outdoors

The FT-AC Concept is a car built for the outdoors. But it’s also teeming with vanity, probably to appease selfie-snapping millennials who care more about being “seen” in the outdoors as opposed to actually enjoying their surroundings. Regardless of the motive, there are removable side cameras sitting above the two side mirrors. These cameras can work as Go Pro-like action cams, and with the concept also featuring integrated Wi-Fi, self-serving posts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter are never too far away.

Interior

2017 Toyota FT-AC Concept
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Toyota didn’t release any information about the concept’s interior. There are no images either. These are signs that there’s nothing there to describe. The blacked-out windshield and windows are also hints that the singular focus of the FT-AC Concept is to showcase its aggressive body design. That said, Toyota did say that the concept was designed around a long wheelbase. That makes me think that as brutish as the concept looks from the outside, there’s enough space inside for the driver and the passengers to be comfortable. I wouldn’t be surprised if the interior layout is more traditional in design compared to being a full-blown concept.

Drivetrain

2017 Toyota FT-AC Concept Exterior
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Toyota opted for to use the cutesy phrase “envisioned capabilities” to describe what kind of powertrain the concept could have

Like the interior, there are no details on the FT-AC’s powertrain. Instead, Toyota opted for to use the cutesy phrase “envisioned capabilities” to describe what kind of powertrain the concept could have. Obviously, a capable gas-powered engine was mentioned. Toyota didn’t even stop there, opting to add an “advanced torque-vectoring, all-wheel-drive system” that not only provides maximum traction but variable terrain-response settings and four-wheel lock functionality as well.

While we’re at it, a concept like the FT-AC wouldn’t be complete without hinting at the possibility of getting a next-generation hybrid powertrain. Toyota didn’t say what’s what exactly, but you get the point. The FT-AC is a concept for the imagination. Nothing more, and certainly nothing less.

Conclusion

2017 Toyota FT-AC Concept
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I’m a sucker for concept vehicles that look like they were taken out of pages of comic books. I won’t apologize for my taste. I like the Toyota FT-AC Concept for what it is, not for what it could turn into. It’s a looker in the sense that it has this ability to make you gravitate towards it. Whether you like it or not from there is up to you. But I can’t take my eyes off it. In my head, it looks better than the aesthetic monstrosity that was the 4Runner. Admit it; as capable as the 4Runner is, nothing about its looks come anywhere close to being redeemable.

  • Leave it
    • * Interior and power details are absent
    • * Design is not for everyone
    • * Still a concept at the end of the day

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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