Concept SUV Is Multi-Tool On Wheels

A removable dashboard boombox, heating and cooling boxes for warming up gear or keeping snacks fresh, and door handles that double as water bottles: Toyota’s millennial-inspired crossover concept isn’t hardcore, it’s ‘casualcore.’

toyota ft4x profile

It may never come to market, but Toyota’s FT-4X (stands for “Future Toyota”) is a car camper’s dream. At least, if that car camper is under 30.

The 4WD crossover concept, unveiled today at the New York International Auto Show, drew from research on Gen-Y’s outdoor habits. What designers discovered was that Gen-Y — a.k.a. millennials — values impromptu, easy adventures over extended, remote getaways.

toyota ft-4x parked

The result is a vehicle with the capability of an SUV, tough but not that tough, and the multi-function conveniences of an iPhone.

Toyota FT-4X Concept

According to Toyota, the FT-4X is “for millennial-aged professionals confined to city limits… [who] enjoy venturing into to new neighborhoods and national parks, but hardly plan ahead.”

Translation: For campers who aren’t going far and will probably forget a bunch of stuff.

ft-4x rear hatch options

No worries, the FT-4X has your back — with its own. Designers sketched the concept from the rear, forward. Their research showed that millennials most value the hangout space in their perfect car. Think reclining and staring out the back at an overlook, or sitting under the hatch with friends.

So the rear is where a lot of innovation is found. First, the hatch itself opens both horizontally (urban mode) and vertically (outdoor mode). The hatch handle rotates to select in which mode it opens.

toyota ft 4x rear hatch horizontal

Inside the hatch sit twin boxes, one for cooling and one for warming. Put blankets or wet gloves in the heated box, and store perishable foods in the cold box.

The second-row bench seats fold down, and the large rear cargo floor slides out, revealing a hidden storage box. The extended floor also doubles as a sitting platform.

Toyota FT4x interior

The rear bumper has two tie-down loops, as does the front. The roof is flat and also sports four tie downs, one at each corner. And at the base of each tie down sits an electrical outlet.

Double-Duty Features

On the interior, things start to get wild. The door handles snap out and double as impromptu water bottles (millennials are notoriously poor hydrators).

ft4x rear door handle

The dashboard stereo can also be disconnected and used as a boombox. If they remembered a tent — because who knows? — the campers can take out the dome light out and use it as a beacon or reading light.

Storage compartments abound and are color-coded. Orange means it’s an open compartment (mesh or pocket) and blue means it’s a closed compartment with a lid.

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The armrest cover hides a sleeping bag from The North Face within, so impromptu camp trips don’t even require a stop at home to pack if you sleep in the back.

And just in case nobody remembers their phone, the driver’s sideview mirror has a built-in GoPro HERO5 Session camera.

toyota ft-4x gopro mirror

There’s no drive in this concept, but Toyota hinted that the FT-4X could handle a small-displacement four-cylinder engine. The model crossover at the auto show stood 63.9″ tall, 167.3″ long, and had a 13.9″ wheelbase.

Check out all the FT-4X’s gadgets in action below.

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Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie – from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it’s outside, it’s worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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