Categories: LA Motor ShowMSN Custom Autos

Is Toyota’s beefy cute ute concept taking aim at Jeep?

Looking nothing so much like the radiant love child of Toyota’s capable U.S-market 4Runner and cute-ute C-HR, the FT-AC concept debuted at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show could, if built, fill a fun niche in the manufacturer’s line-up.

Envisioned as an all-terrain vehicle, the vehicle’s proposed torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, high ground clearance, variable terrain-response settings, and four-wheel lock functionality would make it enough of a of serious go-anywhere truckster to capture customers from Jeep.

Toyota’s only serious off-road SUV is the aforementioned mid-size 4Runner with a starting price of over $34,000 (around £25,000). Jeep has a number of competent 4x4s for far less: the baby Renegade starts at £18,250, the new Compass from £22,995, and the legendary Wrangler from a whopping £35,000 in the UK (in the U.S, it’s priced from just £18,000).  

The FT-AC would most likely, speculating based on size, equipment, and market segment, come in around the $26,000 mark (£20,000 – or, more likely, from £25,000, if it actually makes the UK), making it a perfectly situated alternative to the overlanders from Ohio.

Toyota clearly is already thinking of just this. The funky SUV’s full name is the Fun Truck Action Concept, and while that may sound downright silly, it comes equipped with heavy-duty skid plates, tow hooks, beefy A/T tires on rugged 20-inch wheels, and short front and rear overhangs.

While the integrated bike rack is probably too niche to make it onto a production vehicle, rear-facing LEDs on the roof rack and ambient LED lighting at the corners are a fun idea for lighting the trail or campsite. Cameras mounted to the mirrors can upload footage directly to the cloud via wifi capability, making livestreaming an epic Moab run possible.

The FT-AC is cute and funky. If it can hold a candle to the coveted 4Runner’s capabilities, we can’t wait to see it in production.

Toyota FT-AC: in pictures

John Moroney

John is Motoring Research’s North America expert, but is also a fan of the offbeat and leftfield. Classic motorcycles are a particular speciality.

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