FT-AC Concept May Hint at Toyota's Future SUV Strategy

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
ft ac concept may hint at toyota s future suv strategy

Toyota pulled the wraps off its FT-AC Concept at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show today.

Its full name is Future Toyota Adventure Concept, but whatever you call it, this concept is ready for trail duty. Or at least, it looks the part.

As per usual with concepts, details on specs are light. The press release mentions 20-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, fog lamps, LED headlights, infrared cameras mounted on the mirrors that can record off-road driving exploits and in-car Wi-Fi that can be used to broadcast the footage. There’s also a roof rack with rear-facing LED lights that can be controlled from the cabin, and a hideaway integrated bike rack.

Toyota’s release says the FT-AC is just a design study, but it would have all-wheel drive with four-wheel lock capability. It could be powered by either a gasoline engine or a hybrid powertrain.

Speculation time: If Toyota is planning on building this, or does so as a result of positive reaction at auto shows, it could very well replace the 4Runner (it could also, of course, be a possible design study for the next 4Runner). Or it could slot just below the 4Runner in size – it appears to be somewhat shorter in pictures.

Regardless, I wouldn’t be shocked if something like this makes production with toned-down looks and a combination of available powertrains – say gas and hybrid versions and maybe even a diesel? I’d hope for a manual transmission version, too.

This could be Toyota’s answer to the upcoming Ford Bronco, the next-gen Jeep Wrangler, the re-born Land Rover Defender that’s under development, and to a lesser extent, Subaru’s Crosstrek wagon and the Jeep Renegade/Jeep Compass. Toyota has an off-road heritage, and this may be the next step in maintaining that reputation.

Don’t let “design study” fool you – this thing is likely getting built, at least if the market for crossovers remains hot.

[Images: Toyota]

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  • Ttacgreg Ttacgreg on Dec 01, 2017

    I see lots of (the very successful) Subie Crosstrak influence here.

  • Scott25 Scott25 on Dec 02, 2017

    Just lift the iM, put in the 86 Motor, add a spare tire on the tailgate, get rid of the CVT and boom you have a customer. I’d be happier without the lift and tire but that’s too much to ask for....and while I’m dreaming just build the iM on the 86 platform, Toyota. RWD fun to drive 5 (or 3) door hatchback...sigh..

  • Jeff S If AM went away I would listen to FM but since it is insignificant in the cost to the car and in an emergency broadcast it is good to have. I agree with some of the others its another way to collect money with a subscription. AM is most likely to go away in the future but I will use AM as long as its around.
  • BEPLA I think it's cool the way it is.If I had the money, time and space - I'd buy it, clean it up, and just do enough to get it running properly.Then take it to Cars and Coffee and park it next to all the newer Mustangs.
  • Dave M. I suppose Jethro’s farm report comes via AM, but there’s a ton of alternative ways to get that info. Move forward people. Progress is never easy.
  • BEPLA For anything but the base model, I'd rather have a pre-owned Polestar 2.
  • BEPLA "Quality is Job........well, it's someone's job, but it's not our job.Neither is building vehicles that people actually want or need.We only build what's most profitable. If only someone would buy our 97 day supply of SuperDutys."