Toyota’s FT-4X was supposed to be a Wrangler killer and pre-empt the return of the mighty Ford Bronco. What we see here is more like a rigged Kia Soul and a Renegade rival. Not exactly what the off-road crowd was looking for.

Birthed into the 3 dimensional world at Toyota’s Calty design facility in Newport Beach, California. The FT-4X is based on the same architecture as the CH-R crossover SUV. They share the 103.9-inch wheelbase with the FT-4X  a little shorter between the bumpers at 167.3 inches overall, a little wider wheel to wheel 71.7 inches, and a little taller at 63.9 inches.

Possibly a small displacement 4 cylinder and a CVT will provide motive power. At this point it’s all conjecture

Unique? Multi Hatch or Giant Pain the Butt

Guided by some new fangled philosophy they call “casualcore.”  What does that even mean? I’m hardcore but only casually. Is that like casual drinking, casual smoking, or is it a 12 pack a day habit but only when I am stressed casual?

With this new “casualcore” mentality the Calty design team created a two-way “Multi Hatch.” Outdoor, with a traditional vertical opening, or Urban, where the hatch opens like a delivery van. Not sure why one is Urban and one Outdoor. They both would work in either environment.

Front and rear tow hooks, hardened flat roof for cargo, and 4 wheel drive with a low range transfer case. From the pictures it appears that approach and departure angles wouldn’t be terrible, the break over angle  and ground clearance are not much however and would preclude heavy off-road use.

Removable Panel/Window

There is a vertical glass “picture window” set into the C pillar shown in the image above. It’s removable and allows it to be changed to a tinted glass panel. Maybe they can add some cargo management options to hang things while in camp or mount recovery tools. In a tip of the cap to our social media obsession the driver’s side mirror is equipped with an integrated GoPro camera.

Storage bins are color-coded, blue for closed storage, orange for open.

A sleeping bag stows doubles as an armrest. The rear door handles can be used as water bottles, a flashlight stows in the rear ceiling, the armrests have integrated USB ports, and a pair of rear bins provide heat and refrigeration. These last few options are legitimately pretty cool. Heat and refrigeration built in!

Portable Radio

The radio is removable, there are numerous power outlets , the interior is divided into three zones: Clear, up front; Wet, in the middle; and Cargo. The entire floor is plastic and washable to the area designations are a bit useless.

The rear seats fold fully flat, the seatbacks are covered with the same hard material as the rear cargo area.

Calty design chief Ian Cartabiano sums it up as “rugged charm.” Toyota publicity materials refer to “a charming ubiquitous tactility of grips, handles, and controls.” Elements of the FT-4X may end up in production. The FT-4X for now is just a design playground.

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William Connor

As the Editor, William is responsible for all the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent that happens at 4WAAM. William brings a wide range of experience to this role. He also wields a freely shared...

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