The Toyota FTX Concept pickup truck debuted at the 2004 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) and quickly garnered accolades for its design and utility. Like the Nissan Alpha-T Concept which debuted three years earlier at the NAIAS, the Toyota FTX concept represented forward thinking, capability, utility and a ground shaking design. While the second generation Toyota Tundra, which came out in 2007, looked a bit like the FTX concept, it was nowhere near as daring as the original concept.
Click (here) to read about the Nissan Alpha-T pickup truck concept.
Toyota’s North American-based research and design center designed the Toyota FTX concept and added a unique V-8 hybrid gas-electric engine. It was supposed to give the truck V8 grunt while getting V6 economy. Judging by our current batch of V6 truck’s economy numbers, it may not be a great marketing idea to laud those figures.
Other notable design cues:
- A component hidden under the rear skid-plate holds an air compressor and electric outlets that work off an independant electric generator.
- A ramp is stored just beneath the tailgate. The tailgate folds out and connects to a ram, this ramp can extend all the way from the tailgate to the ground.
- In the bed, there is a collapsible storage box that can fold away completely when not in use.
- There is a 3D centrally located information screen on the dashboard.
Toyota calls their interior design motif the “Flying T” theme. It is still modern-looking by today’s standards while providing an industrial-like utility cockpit. The back seats fold away and, according to Toyota, look like fold-away seats that were styled after high-end recreational boats.
Since the Toyota FTX concept debut, many Toyota fans have wanted the same truck that debuted in 2004 at the NAIAS. There are still a multitude of Toyota fans who want a truck that looks like the concept – at the very least. It’s doubtful that the V8 hybrid they envisioned back then will see production, but ideas like the tailgate ramp, folding cargo tray and air compressor/generator certainly have merit.
Personally, I feel that Toyota missed a golden opportunity to turn truck design on its head back then.
What do you think?