Toyota has added another win to their name. They bagged the top prize in the Car Design Awards concept car category. They beat out finalists like the Audi Skysphere, Polestar O2, Porsche Mission R, and even their sister company Lexus’ Electrified Sport.
This is the Toyota LiteCruiser, a boxy compact cruiser EV that first debuted in December 2021. With style hints from their FJ40 and FJ Cruiser line, this fully electric concept has been designed for the wilderness. With a massive front and rear skid plate, red tow hooks, huge wheels, roof rails that extend to the rear tailgate, and outspread fenders, this cruiser screams rugged modern utilitarianism. There is a ladder after the right-side passenger window too.
The Japanese car maker’s new design gives us the FJ Cruiser vibe. Everyone knows and loves the Japanese brute. Whether on or off the road, the Toyota SUV oozes curb appeal. They are slowly becoming road candy as they come in a variety of colors. And with so many aftermarket options, no two units are similar.
One big downside of the FJ Cruiser is that it is running a 4.0-liter V6 gas engine. In a world that is starting to embrace electrification, this may become the FJ’s Achilles heel. If Toyota decides to pursue this LiteCruiser concept and price it correctly, then the EV concept may ultimately replace the beloved FJ.
With the momentum that Toyota has, going electric is on their agenda in the age of electrification. The only question now is, will the automaker actually go ahead with the concept and make a production version in the future? Only time will tell.