Toyota has already shown some images of its Compact Cruiser EV concept back in 2021, but for whatever reason, it has chosen to show us more. What could this mean? We think it is trying to get some footing with the electric vehicle zeitgeist happening now. And if it can keep a production version of this mini-FJ Cruiser as close as possible to its concept, they’ll have a winner.
How small is the Toyota Compact Cruiser concept?
But based on comparisons with its midsize Tacoma pickup, you can see just how small the Compact Cruiser really is. If it is trail-worthy, that might be good for getting around tight outcroppings and narrow paths. So there is some good to being smaller.
And if you needed validation about your liking what you’re seeing, the concept won the 2022 Car Design Award for concept vehicles. That could be another reason it has decided to show us more.
The Compact Cruiser EV looks like a mini-FJ Cruiser
If you’ll remember, Toyota revealed 15 EV concept cars in 2021. This reveal also included some future Lexus EVs, as well. Then, in the limited information at the time, it said that past Land Cruisers and the FJ Cruiser were inspirations.
Toyota has been playing around with a small, Suzuki Jimny-like SUV for some time. We remember its FT-4X concept of 2017 as just one example. Since then, it has chosen to muscle up the look it has been going for.
So now we have the Compact Cruiser, with its elaborate roof rack, ladder to access it, skid plates, and aggressive fender surrounds. And especially with the large tires pushed out to the fender edges, it has an aggressive stance for its size.
What is the Compact Cruiser’s target audience?
The company says that it is going after “young, professional urban dwellers who enjoy active outdoor leisure interests.” Toyota Design Senior Manager Simon Humphries goes on to say, “Our research into electric vehicles has been ongoing for more than 30 years, and we’ve come a long way. After an initial phase of contact with electric vehicles, people will want zero-emission cars that speak about them and express their lifestyle. And the Compact Cruiser EV is a perfect example of that trend”.
Since 1984, Auto&Design magazine has given out its annual Car Design Awards. The three categories it awards are Production Vehicles, Concept Vehicles, and Brand Design/Overall Consistency. We hope this design award will help push Toyota along toward a production Compact Cruiser. The company is always very careful about introducing new vehicles. Now that so many other manufacturers have a head start, it needs to come out with more adventuresome EVs to gain some spotlight in an ever-increasing field.