Toyota FTX Cotinues Hybrid-electric Drive Trend
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., unveiled the FTX full-size pickup truck concept at a press conference today at the 2004 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
"The FTX concept was developed to make a bold statement about Toyota's future full-size pickup truck plans," said Jim Press, TMS executive vice president and COO. "It is a statement that promises the brute-power to match its bold styling and ample proportions. And it's a statement we mean to back up."
The FTX concept was developed by the TMS Advanced Product Strategy Group and Calty, Toyota's North American-based, research and design center located in Newport Beach, Calif. The truck was designed to provide a hint to the direction in size and styling of future Toyota full-size pickups. The team was assigned to explore the future possibilities of Toyota truck DNA by developing a truck concept with a double-duty personality and a trace of Land Cruiser heritage that advances the mainstream American truck to the next level.
"Toyota has a strong heritage of building trucks that are rugged, yet playful," said Kevin Hunter, Calty vice president. "This image is especially strong in the U.S., thanks to the FJ Land Cruiser in the 60's and 70's and the phenomenally successful Toyota compact pickup in the 80's and 90's. Our goal with the FTX was to capture the spirit and soul of this legacy and reassert Toyota's truck brand image with a full-size pickup aimed at the very core of the segment."
At nearly 19-feet in length, nearly seven feet in width, and six-and-one-half feet in height, the FTX offers ample proportions. The FTX is a full-fledged body-on-frame, "Super-C-Cab" 4x4 pickup truck. It has the interior room of a double cab, yet opens 90 degrees with suicide doors.
Stylistically, the FTX features a huge sculptural power-ball that emanates from the rear wheels and visually pushes the truck forward. The massive front end is proud and serious and integrates into the body-side, creating a unified statement of power. The generous use of sculpture in the body gives a rich high-quality feel that elevates the FTX beyond a mere work truck. Massive metal extruded bumpers and rocker panels add an element of toughness and durability.
The FTX was developed to raise the idea of functionality to a new level by including a surprising array of sensible features aimed at both work and play. Exterior features include bumpers with integrated tow hooks and special hideaway universal carabiner-type tie-down hooks in the truck bed. Underneath the rear skid-plate is a multi-functional unit that houses an electric generator, an air compressor and other outlets. Inside the bed is a solid metal collapsible hidden job box that can be erected for safe storage of tools and supplies. Finally, hidden away in the rear tailgate is a smooth operating hideaway ramp that extends to the ground when the gate is open, allowing heavy items to be rolled into the bed, instead of being lifted.
"The FTX interior is a work station, a sports locker, or just a sanctuary from the elements," said Craig Kember, Calty senior designer. "Most of all it's an interior that prioritizes the needs, and wants of full-size truck buyers."
The interior displays a pure fusion of brawny structure, luxurious materials, and new technology specific to a big truck. The instrument panel and center console arch bend outward, wrapping around each occupant, forming two protective cells.
A wide center console separates at a large center display panel. The console contains an armrest-mounted control-arm that includes all instrumentation and an operational lever that is angled toward the driver, in effect, creating an operator station.
The seat height and steering wheel angle of the FTX are positioned extremely high, giving the driver a feeling of total command and conveying the feel of operating a big rig. Suspension seats isolate the driver and passenger from rough terrain and include deep center pads styled after a horseman's saddle for comfort. Low-effort control switches and minimal operational levers are the key to operational simplicity. All vital information is accessed through a central display 3-D screen.
Floating, foldaway rear seats are styled after recreational boats. The rear seat base is affixed to a center beam, suspending the seats off the floor for under-seat storage. Over-sized door and pillar pull handles and seat mounted grips assist in ingress and egress. A large overhead track lamp can be pulled down and slide side-to-side across the cabin.
The brawniness of the FTX is complemented with a powerplant that is more than capable of hauling a heavy-duty pickup. Under the hood, the FTX is powered by a large-displacement V8 hybrid gas-electric engine that pumps out loads of torque while delivering V6 fuel efficiency.
The unveiling of the FTX truck concept comes on the heels of the recent launch of the Tundra Double Cab. The Double Cab is the latest addition of the American-built Tundra full-size pickup. Taller and wider than both Tundra Regular- and Access Cab models, the new Double Cab combines the interior roominess and appointments of the Toyota Sequoia full-size sport utility vehicle. And, the cargo bed is longer, and has more capacity, than the Ford F150 and Nissan Titan.
Tundra is currently built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI). Production of the Tundra will expand in mid-2006 with the opening of a new pickup plant in the heart of truck country, San Antonio, Texas.
"The recent launch of the Tundra Double Cab and the new FTX concept offers a good indication to how Toyota's large truck evolution is progressing," said Press. "And make no mistake about it. With our expansion in San Antonio, we are on a serious mission to build big truck market share."
Toyota FTX Concept Pickup truck Preliminary Specifications
V8 Hybrid Gas-Electric Engine
Overall Length: 228.0
Overall Width: 82.5
Overall Height: 77.2
Bed Length: 84.0
Tire Size: 355/55 R22
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