Toyota FT-4X Concept vehicle unveiled Wednesday in New York is a four-wheel drive crossover that brings to mind a futuristic International Harvester Scout.
Toyota uses all the buzzwords in describing the SUV aimed at young buyers: It’s conceived for “extreme” excursions to something Toyota places under the heading “casualcore.” Those might include: “Dinner on the beach during a beautiful evening; tailgating with friends while listening to music; visiting a favorite trailhead for a run or dog walk; settling next to a campfire for an overnight desert stay.”
Speaking at the New York International Auto Show, Kevin Hunter president of Toyota’s of Calty Design Research, described the “Future Toyota/Four-Drive” as small enough to navigate city environments comfortably, with off-road capabilities “to escape to the wild at a moment’s notice.”
In pushing the theme of a new mindset, Toyota officials said design of the two-door vehicle began at its back hatch and not the front.
“In their months’ long research, (designers) noticed that base-camp for Gen Y explorers was oftentimes the destination itself,” Toyota’s said. “Cherished experiences were had in and around this base-camp, usually at their vehicle’s tailgate or hatch.”
The FT-4X’s hatch, labeled the Multi-Hatch, can open both horizontally and vertically. Among the FT-4X’s other unique features aimed at millennials are:
■A GoPro camera built in to the driver’s rearview mirror for snapping pictures of “heroic scenery.”
■Dome lights that can be removed for use as flashlights.
■A removable multi-media audio system.
■A mobile phone mount above the instrument cluster.
■Rear armrests outfitted with USB ports.