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LA show: Toyota takes the road less travelled

Hybrid rock hopper: Toyota’s latest SUV concept, the FT-AC, has video cameras to record your off-road adventures.

Toyota’s FT-AC ‘adventure concept’ appears to point to a plastic future

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Toyota logo1 Dec 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

IF TACK-ON plastic was a measure of styling success, the Toyota FT-AC concept SUV would be an absolute winner.

As it is, we will let you decide if the one-off show car revealed at the Los Angeles motor show this week has been cleverly disguised to hide a potential new model underneath.

Toyota says the FT-AC – standing for Future Toyota Adventure Concept – is a bold and daring design experiment that reflects “the confident spirit of Toyota’s existing SUVs and commercial vehicles”.

It says the vehicle has been conceived as a thoroughly capable all-wheel-drive petrol or hybrid-powered vehicle that provides “an ideal vehicle for a wide mix of on and off-road excursions”.

The mid-size crossover wagon has a long-wheelbase, wide track, four-wheel-locking AWD, vehicle terrain control system and fat 20-inch wheels with off-road tyres for a good grip on the earth.

Toyota says the vehicle could be powered by an advanced hybrid powertrain with the latest torque vectoring to maximise traction.

At the front, twin recovery hooks – an obligatory feature of rugged off-road vehicles – and skid plates that look like they would rip off on the first rock, feature under the grille. LED foglights are said to be removable to light up your camp site or, as Toyota suggests, mounted on a mountain bike for night riding.

A business-like cargo rack sits atop the roof to lug all that adventure gear.

The rack carries rear-facing LED lights to aid night-time manoeuvring.

In a nod to millennials, the car carries infrared video cameras on the side mirrors to record your adventures, with the pictures uploaded via an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot.

Toyota says it chose California to unveil the concept because of Los Angeles’ passion for weekend getaways in the mountains, beach and desert.

The FT-AC is the second SUV concept shown by Toyota in the United States this year. The smaller, boxier FT-4X – based on the C-HR – was presented at the New York show in April.

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