Toyota’s FT-4X Concept Appeals To The Casualcore Explorers Among Us

Toyota’s FT-4X Concept Appeals To The Casualcore Explorers Among Us
Automotive

Heavy on utility ideas, the FT-4X is designed to be the ultimate getaway companion

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 2 may 2017

What’s the perfect vehicle to take on a weekend nature getaway trip away from the city? That the design task Toyota‘s Calty Design Research office in Newport Beach, California undertook. Their solution, the Toyota FT-4X Concept, was unveiled at the 2017 New York International Auto Show. The FT-4X (Future Toyota Four-Wheel Drive Crossover) integrates a ton of clever ideas and revives an industrial design-centric take on vehicle design that’s been generally absent in the digital age. Presented as a kind of ultimate utility vehicle for millennial-aged professionals, the marketing narrative behind the FT-4X sounds more like an ode to the defunct Scion brand. The design is described as having a quality of “rugged charm” meant to compliment impulsive weekend “casualcore” excursions by office dwelling twenty-somethings.

The categorization is heavy-handed, when the aspirational desire to getaway with ease is much more broadly relevant to people of many age groups. That aside, there’s lots of unique and interesting design details that beg the question: why doesn’t that already exist?

A prime example is where the design of the FT-4X started, with the back door called the Multi-Hatch. It was designed to open in two different directions, depending on access needs. Turning the large handle one way allows the doors to open outward from the center in tighter space confines. Each door has a separate storage compartment, one chilled and one heated to food and drinks.

Twisting the handle the other direction activates a hatchback style mechanism which allows the entire back door to be opened upward. The door serves as a temporary shelter from the rain and frees up the back of the FT-4X for tailgating.

toyota_ft4x_concept_nyias_2.jpg

Above the rear wheels are removable panels that can be swapped with opaque body panels, transparent glass, or tinted glass. This can alter the look of the vehicle and allow for more light or privacy inside.

The driver’s side mirror has an integrated GoPro HERO5 Session camera to capture travel scenery or maybe livestream a drive-thru order.

toyota_ft4x_concept_nyias_06.jpg

The interior is particularly interesting because of what isn’t on the dashboard. Figure it out? There’s no giant touch screen.

Calty Studio Chief Designer, Ian Cartabiano explains the logic,

“You can really tell that we had a blast designing the FT-4X because it looks fun to use and fun to drive. I love this idea of mechanical satisfaction because while we’re living in today’s digital world, we took something that’s based on physical movements and made that a large part of what this vehicle is. We want everyone to interact with this car and feel a sense of delight and excitement.”

The idea of interaction extends to a number of elements within the interior. There’s a removable Bluetooth sound system that docks in the center console.

toyota_ft4x_concept_nyias_07.jpg

A compact North Face sleeping bag is stowed between the front seats and doubles as an arm rest.

Casualcore

The entire interior has been color coded to visually describe two different storage applications. Orange is for open bins and blue is for closed, secure storage. Accompanying these areas are integrated power outlets, water bottles, flashlights, hot and cold storage and wet/dry bins.

The FT-4X Concept looks different and has an amazing interior. It is a next step of something like the Jeep Renegade.

With SUVs and crossovers continuing to flood the market, this would be a distinctive product from Toyota.

Check out both the demo and the press launch videos below that show even more features

Toyota

Photos: Dave Pinter (exterior), Toyota (interior)

What’s the perfect vehicle to take on a weekend nature getaway trip away from the city? That the design task Toyota‘s Calty Design Research office in Newport Beach, California undertook. Their solution, the Toyota FT-4X Concept, was unveiled at the 2017 New York International Auto Show. The FT-4X (Future Toyota Four-Wheel Drive Crossover) integrates a ton of clever ideas and revives an industrial design-centric take on vehicle design that’s been generally absent in the digital age. Presented as a kind of ultimate utility vehicle for millennial-aged professionals, the marketing narrative behind the FT-4X sounds more like an ode to the defunct Scion brand. The design is described as having a quality of “rugged charm” meant to compliment impulsive weekend “casualcore” excursions by office dwelling twenty-somethings.

+Automotive
+Design
+Millennials
+toyota
+travel

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