Toyota FT-AC concept brings the fun back to SUVs

SUVs are still the vehicles of choice for people with so-called “active lifestyles,” but the vehicles themselves have actually gotten a bit boring. Most current SUVs are actually car-based crossovers that look like swollen hatchbacks, and many only have the all-terrain capability to support your active lifestyle if said lifestyle consists solely of trips to the local shopping mall.

Debuting at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Toyota FT-AC concept aims to bring some of the fun back to SUVs. Its name is short for Future Toyota Adventure Concept, which is an ambitious name for a vehicle unveiled in a city known for soul-crushing traffic. Toyota believes the FT-AC could be the perfect vehicle for future Angelenos to escape on weekends to somewhere with more nature and fewer people.

The FT-AC combines the general shape of a crossover with some more aggressive styling elements, including fender flares and a grille that resembles the one on the Toyota 4Runner, a more old-school SUV with genuine off-road capability. A long wheelbase and wide track are meant to give the concept an aggressive, hunkered-down stance despite the vehicle itself being relatively tall.

Toyota FT-AC concept

Toyota also kitted out the FT-AC with off-road accouterments, including a roof rack, lots of LED exterior lighting, and skid plates to protect the underside from jutting rocks and other obstacles. Infrared cameras mounted on the mirror can record drives, and are removable for handheld use. An onboard Wi-Fi hot spot automatically uploads footage to a cloud-based storage system.

Since the FT-AC is just a concept car, Toyota decided it wasn’t necessary to provide any details on the powertrain. A Toyota press release only said that the FT-AC is a “thoroughly capable gasoline-powered vehicle with an advanced torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system,” which doesn’t provide much of a clue. Torque vectoring, which shunts power side to side on a given axle, should at least ensure sharper on-road handling.

Toyota did say that the all-wheel drive system features “variable terrain-response settings” and “4-wheel lock functionality,” indicating that it wouldn’t be completely useless off the pavement. If it decided to put the FT-AC into production, Toyota also noted that a hybrid powertrain wouldn’t be out of the question.

While the FT-AC won’t go into production, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some of its styling elements incorporated into future Toyota crossovers. The current RAV4 and Highlander aren’t exactly the most visually arresting vehicles, so that would be a nice change of pace.

Updated: Added more photos


Yamaha’s Wabash ebike takes on gravel, single track, and more

The Wabash gravel ebike from Yamaha gives riders a versatile and powerful option for riding trails, pavement, mud, sand, dirt, and more, with plenty of range and power for all-day adventures.

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Movies & TV

These are the best movies on Hulu right now (March 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

James Gunn will return to direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3 after all

Eight months after firing director James Gunn due to a series of off-color social media posts, Disney has rehired the filmmaker to guide the Guardians of the Galaxy on their next adventure.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.

This modified Land Rover Discovery is heading to Africa to help fight malaria

A Land Rover Discovery will be used by the Mobile Malaria Project for a 3,900-mile trek across Africa to study malaria. The SUV is equipped with a mobile gene-sequencing laboratory, as well as everything necessary for serious off-roading.
Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.

Volvo wants to use speed limiters, in-car cameras, and data to reduce crashes

Volvo believes new tech is the best way to improve car safety. The Swedish automaker will let owners set speed limits when loaning out their cars, install cameras to monitor drivers, and use data to design better safety features.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe teased way ahead of its November debut

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is coming to the United States, eventually. The new compact BMW won't be unveiled until the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The Gran Coupe will be based on a front-wheel drive platform.

Tesla lets you skip the dealership, order a car from the comfort of your couch

Tesla has always bypassed traditional dealerships, and it has now adopted an online-only sales model that lets customers configure and order their car without leaving their couch. Here's what you need to know.

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group uses Microsoft cloud platform for connected cars

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is launching a new cloud platform for its cars. Based on Microsoft Azure, the Alliance Intelligent Cloud will enable features like connected services and over-the-air updates.

The 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a popular tech feature as its price comes down

Toyota has updated the C-HR, its entry-level crossover, by adding an entry-level trim level to the lineup. Every model regardless of price also comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay.
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.