Toyota has teased a beefy, but honestly “realistic”, wheel for the concept it’s bringing to next month’s New York International Auto Show. It’s called the FT-4X, and you, Ford, and Jeep all probably know where this is going.
There isn’t much else to talk about, so let’s talk about the name we’ve been given, which was first noticed on a trademark back in October.
While ‘FT’ is very similar to the nomenclature for Toyota’s previous SUVs, like the FJ Cruiser, it was also used on the FT-86 Concept and other concepts, and stands for “Future Toyota.” The 4X could be a call back to the FJ-40 nomenclature, but also may double as a hint at the concept’s 4x4 capabilities.
If the FT-4X is a serious concept destined for production, it could mean the reemergence of the ‘hardcore’ Land Cruiser lineage, or it could be a softer SUV like the FJ Cruiser. The sales potential of each boosts the probability of the latter.
The FT-4X is also a new thorn in the side of Ford, who officially announced a new Bronco SUV (and Ranger truck) back in January. It could also be a red flag for Jeep, who is preparing to introduce the all-new 2018 Wrangler (which may have just been leaked earlier today).
It’s a questionably-intentional but fantastically-fun gesture from Toyota to Ford, which has been taking its sweet time with the Bronco everybody has been begging years for, as Roadshow’s Chris Paukert pointed out on Twitter:
If all three of these off-road heritage SUVs manage to hit the market in the same stride, it could boil down to a bloodbath within the SUV comeback tour and a great place to shop for consumers—as long as gas prices keep playing limbo.
Watch the FT-4X end up being a 7-seater crossover, though. Man, that’d be hilarious. We’ll see next month!