We got our very first glimpse at the Toyota Compact Cruiser strategy in December 2021 when Toyota and Lexus jointly declared strategies to release 30 fully-electric vehicles by 2030. in Tokyo. It was tucked way in the again of a 16-vehicle showcase but was, in our minds, a single of the most intriguing types in the bunch.
Evidently we weren’t by itself, since the off-road EV has won a 2022 Auto Style and design Award, held at the ADI Style and design Museum in Milan, Italy, through the city’s Design and style Week. Toyota nabbed the award in the Notion class, prompting them to launch many much more photographs and sketches for the initial time. Toyota was also nominated in the Generation and general Manufacturer Design and style categories, but these went to the Ferrari 296 GTB and the Polestar lineups, respectively.
Toyota claims the Compact Cruiser was impressed by a “initial-technology” Land Cruiser in a push release, but we think they truly intended the legendary FJ40 released in 1960, not the utilitarian 20-sequence or earlier BJ/FJ products of the 1950s that had been developed at the behest of the U.S. navy for use in the Korean War.
Whilst Toyota only mentions the Compact Cruiser’s “off-street silhouette and very simple, potent body sections” as throwbacks to the FJ40, we see a number of other specifics as effectively. You can find the white roof, for just one, which was used on the FJ40 to reflect the sun since a lot of did not come outfitted with air conditioning. The hood scoop appears to reference the mail slot opening on the FJ40, but the treatment is closer to the FJ Cruiser, itself an homage to the FJ40. Even the turn alerts look like they could have been elevated to mimic the fender-mounted units on the initial 40.
The Compact Cruiser also makes excellent use of black plastic cladding about the wheel wells, a considerably derided attribute of contemporary SUVs. In this article, they’re sculpted to resemble the squared-off fenders of the FJ40. Even its slotted wheels connect with back to the FJ40’s steelies.
Nonetheless, designers are allergic to the phrase “retro” for the reason that they have been conditioned to imagine forward. There, the Compact Cruiser breaks new floor with roof rails that extend in excess of the rear and appear to serve double responsibility as hinges for the hatch. The remaining aspect rail also connects to a little side ladder that may perhaps prove valuable in securing rooftop masses.
Of study course, like a lot of of the principles proven by Toyota at the EV extravaganza, the Compact Cruiser is very likely just a structure model with no a complete inside. Nonetheless, with rumors of a sub-Tacoma compact pickup beneath thought and SUVs like the Suzuki Jimny receiving loads of fantastic press, we would not produce this one off. The design award could just assist nudge it into the indeed column.