Toyota’s latest concept teases a car that could simultaneously be the coolest EV and the coolest SUV in the world, because if it goes on sale, it’ll be both. It’s the Compact Cruiser EV Concept, and it’s a retro-modern off-road machine.
The visuals are very clearly inspired by the retro FJ-generation Toyota Land Cruisers but with a modern digital edge. The bodywork is carefully hewn, albeit with rubberised elements for off-road hardiness. The integrated LED lighting is simple but stylish, while the roof rack and ladder add Defender-like lifestyle utility. Refreshingly, it’s as compact as it is rugged, which makes a change from the recent trend of bucking Broncos and hefty Hummers. The car won Toyota the Car Design Award for Concept Vehicles at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, and deservedly so.
If this Compact Cruiser makes it to production, it’d be aimed more towards the Bronco Sport market and be for young professionals who enjoy exploring the outdoors. That means it’d definitely come with all-wheel-drive. Toyota reckons that one day soon, EV buyers are going to want their cars to be statement vehicles.
“After an initial phase of contact with EVs, people will want zero-emission cars that speak about them and express their lifestyle. The Compact Cruiser EV is a perfect example of that trend.”
Would you be tempted by a production version of the Compact Cruiser EV? If SUVs and EVs are known as the most boring cars on the road, this thing turns that stereotype on its head. We’re completely here for it.