"Urban SUV." Translation: subcompact crossover.
Over the past six months Toyota has unveiled not one, not two, but three “urban crossover” concepts at various auto shows. This was all very much done on purpose because the automaker realizes it’ll be needing yet another subcompact urban crossover SUV in the next few years. It’s what younger, city dwelling buyers want. Motor Authority has confirmed Toyota will launch something similar to its latest concept, the FT-AC, in the next few years. The previous two concepts were the FT-4X and TJ Cruiser.
Toyota Motor North America General Manager Jack Hollis told the publication that “It’s like the 90s again, we can have more than one vehicle in each segment if they are different enough.” Toyota’s newest crossover, the also subcompact C-HR, has proven to be a success so far. But how will Toyota differentiate this second subcompact urban SUV from the C-HR? For starters, it’ll be built on the automaker’s new TNGA platform, meaning it’ll be able to accommodate all-wheel drive. The C-HR is front-wheel-drive only. But make no mistake, it will not be a true SUV. Think lifestyle SUV.
For example, one of the features we liked on the FT-4X concept was its large tailgate opening featuring a pair of split doors whose hinges were located on the C-pillars. This design is perfectly suited for bicycles, suitcases and literally everything from the Ikea catalog (assuming it’s boxed). The purpose of the three concept designs was to “test the waters in the market and get feedback from consumers.” It sounds as if the FT-AC has received the most positive feedback, but we expect to see elements of all three appear in the final design.