Toyota’s FT-AC Concept Adds Ruggedness to a Crossover
It’s no coincidence then that Toyota FT-AC makes its debut at the 2017 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.
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.
Toyota 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.
At first glance, it is evident that Toyota 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.
Toyota 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.
Toyota FT-AC’s contrasting colors combine Prospect Green with Fortress Gray accents to highlight its go-anywhere brashness.
Although currently a design experiment, Toyota 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.