Toyota has taken its series of adventure-oriented concept vehicles to the next level with the global premiere of its brash and versatile Future Toyota Adventure Concept, or FT-AC. Displayed for the first time at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, the FT-AC has been conceived as a thoroughly capable all-wheel-drive petrol or hybrid-powered vehicle catering to various lifestyles, preferences and even generations.
Although currently a design study, the bold styling suggests a direction that Toyota could take in shaping future SUVs. It is particularly appropriate that the new concept was unveiled in Los Angeles – a city where much of the population escapes to the hills, deserts or beaches for much-needed weekend recharges after a long week of work.
Contrasting colours on the concept vehicle combine Prospect Green with Fortress Grey accents to highlight its go-anywhere brashness. Its powerful stance is emphasised by a long wheelbase, wide track and a pronounced, wide black grille that is flanked by LED headlights.
Extra-wide fender flares provide body shielding above the 20-inch wheels and beefy all-terrain tyres, both of which help accentuate its commanding look. It has twin recovery hooks while skidplates help protect the short front and rear overhangs.
Concept vehicles usually have clever ideas which may not yet be offered on production models. On the FT-AC, it’s the foglights that can be removed from their pods and used as portable lamps. This would be useful for mountain biking or just having extra illumination around a campsite.
The FT-AC is designed to encourage people of all skill levels that to undertake one-of-a-kind adventures, such as going for a paddle on a river, climbing a favourite rock face or hitting a trail on a mountain bike.
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 even act as a flash for infrared cameras embedded in the side mirrors.
The roof rack’s rear-facing LED lights aid night-time visibility and can also be controlled by a mobile device. An innovative integrated bike rack is retractable – a highly useful feature that can be securely hidden in only a few seconds.
An integrated wifi hotspot provides adventure-goers the ability to livestream their fun or upload footage to cloud-based storage for real-time editing and posting via a mobile device. Like the foglights, the cameras are removable. Geolocation capabilities can also provide directions back to base camp.
Variable terrain-response settings and 4-wheel lock functionality build on its capability by managing traction control and throttle response to provide maximum grip at each wheel for a more dynamic driving experience.
Given that hybrid powertrains are virtually mainstream nowadays, the FT-AC could also have such a powertrain. It would blend fuel efficiency with rugged all-wheel-drive grunt, giving drivers better power, responsiveness and better fuel economy so they can drive further.