Toyota To Keep Crossover Trend Going At Detroit Auto Show

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Automotive Editor

Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia, but now calls Detroit home. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new food, wrenching on his car, and watching movies.


, Automotive Editor - December 6, 2017

SUVs and crossovers all of the craze at the moment, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that Toyota has major plans in store for the Detroit Auto Show. While the upcoming auto show won’t be the reveal location for Toyota and BMW’s joint-developed sports cars (sorry Supra and Z4 fans) the automaker does have plans to show off a few more SUVs, Motor Trend reports.

When it comes to its SUVs and crossovers, Toyota’s lineup is getting a little stale. The Toyota Rav4 and 4Runner are both due for a major redesign and the automaker’s recent concepts reveal some of the directions it can take.

The most recent concept, the FT-AC (Future Toyota Adventure Concept) that was on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show, was a rugged, eco-friendly off-roader that was similarly sized to the Rav4. The off-roading oriented concept had a lot of features aimed at consumers that enjoy tackling rough terrain, including chunky tires, sturdy skid plates, massive fenders, numerous tow hooks, and a built-in, retractable bicycle rack.

As a concept, Toyota also had some fun with the FT-AC by fitting the SUV with infrared cameras on the side mirrors that can record off-road adventures and take pictures, removable LED fog lights that can double as flashlights, an integrated roof rack, as well as Wi-Fi hotspot with cloud-based storage. Some of these items are just for fun and will most likely never make their way to a vehicle, but some of the design cues might.

While the FT-AC concept was roughly the same size as the current Rav4, the concept was just a little too rugged for us to see any design features heading over to the compact SUV. Instead, we think some features, like the LED headlights, LED taillights, front grille, and chunky design could find their way to a redesigned 4Runner. Or, Toyota could even make a baby 4Runner inspired by the FT-AC that would slot in between the Rav4 and Highlander.

The FT-AC concept is only one of the trio of SUV-based concepts that Toyota showed off this year. Other concepts include the FT-4X, which was at the New York Auto Show back in March, and the TJ Cruiser van concept that made its debut at the Tokyo Auto Show in October.

Toyota

The small, boxy FT-4X concept isn’t as rugged as the FT-AC and has us thinking that it will be used to help bring some life to a redesigned Rav4. The FT-4X, after all, was a concept aimed towards helping urbanites expand to the great outdoors. Things like the boxy design, two-tone paint job, and a tailgate that can swing out or down could all make their way to a future Rav4.

Lastly, the TJ Cruiser concept is most likely Toyota’s way of exploring an extra-roomy SUV to add to its lineup. As a large SUV that has the same cargo capacity as a van and the off-roading prowess of an SUV, the TJ Cruiser, if it were to go into production, would sit above the Sequoia and below the Land Cruiser. The concept was a little farfetched, so we don’t think Toyota would take any design cues from the vehicle and incorporate them into a redesigned Rav4 or 4Runner.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see another SUV-based concept from Toyota at the Detroit Auto Show, as SUVs and crossovers are still selling like hotcakes. The concept, though, might vary drastically in size to the three that we've seen this year, as Toyota is most likely using auto shows as a way of getting feedback to see which one it should put into production first.

, Automotive Editor

Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia, but now calls Detroit home. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new food, wrenching on his car, and watching movies.