Toyota really wants to show off its latest electric concept, and it’s easy to see why.
The Japanese auto giant has shared new photos of the Compact Cruiser EV concept. And while the brand hasn’t announced whether it plans to build the prototype, the FJ Land Cruiser-inspired off-roader certainly looks production-ready to us.
We got our first glimpse of the retro-inspired electric vehicle last December, when it was part of a group of 16 concepts that Toyota unveiled while foreshadowing its electric future. The prototype is inspired by the styling of the first-generation Land Cruiser, which was in production from 1951 to 1955. The battery-powered vehicle takes the boxy shape of that beloved 4×4 and modernizes it by softening the edges and adding bright colors in the mix. . It sports a chunky bumper, oversized wheel flares, a roof rack and a ladder above the passenger-side C-pillar.
The concept isn’t nearly as spartan as its ancestor, which was purpose-built to offer military-style utility, but it has a lot more character than the generic crossovers the industry currently seems so enamored of. There’s a simple reason for that: the Compact Cruiser EV is meant to stand out.
“Our research into electric vehicles has been going on for more than 30 years, and we’ve come a long way,” Simon Humphries, senior managing director of Toyota Design, said in a statement. “After a first phase of contact with electric vehicles, people will want zero-emission cars that speak about them and express their way of life. And the Compact Cruiser EV is a perfect example of this trend.
So why post new images of the vehicle now, nearly six months after its debut? Because the Compact Cruiser EV has just won the Car Design Award 2022 for concept vehicles. Unfortunately, for now, the Compact Cruiser EV is nothing more than a design concept. It would seem that Toyota is understandably proud of what its team has come up with. Maybe that pride will drive the brand to build the SUV, or at least something close. Maybe they could even fit it with the simulated manual transmission system the company is developing for battery-powered vehicles. It could make it an electric dream.
Check out more images of the Compact Cruiser EV below: