Yes, Toyota used both “millennial” and “casualcore” to dreadful effect in the press release for the new FT-4X crossover SUV concept it revealed during the New York International Auto Show. But I still want this adorable car box to become a real thing, because it reminds me of both the Honda Element and the Toyota FJ Cruiser, vehicles I love so well. The FT-4X likewise presents a satisfyingly angular box you can easily put your dog and outdoor gear into, and Toyota’s also sprinkled tech features liberally throughout its interior like so much gadget blogger catnip.
The FT-4X is the product of Toyota’s Calty Design Research Newport Beach design studio, which also came up with its fun Concept-i vehicle from CES this year, which was likewise a cause célèbre among us tech watchers. The FT-4X doesn’t house a friendly AI companion, but it does offer up a rear hatch that can act as a shelter from the elements, as well as a side-opening door for easy loading and unloading.
There are power outlets in the back, and USB outlets integrated into the armrests in the cabin. The rear cabin light pops out to act as a flashlight, and there are also integrated water bottles and storage boxes built into armrests and door grips. It’s got more modularity than you could ever hope to need, but will still definitely want to have available regardless.
The car has a “wet zone” where you can safely throw your swimsuits, towels and rainwear, and there’s even a GoPro Hero5 Session camera mounted into the rearview mirror on the driver’s side to get action footage when you really put this thing through its paces.
Basically this is the height of aspirational wish fulfilment for people who work at a desk all day but also consider themselves truly “outdoors” people, and post pictures to Instagram from semi-rugged vacations to prove it. I am that person: Make it real and let me buy this car Toyota.