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 actually build the prototype, the FJ Land Cruiser-inspired off-roader sure looks production-ready to us.
We got our first glimpse of the retro-inspired EV last December, when it was among a group of 16 concepts unveiled by Toyota while previewing its electric future. The prototype takes its style cues from the first-generation Land Cruiser, which was in production from 1951 to 1955. The battery-powered vehicle takes that beloved 4×4’s boxy shape and modernizes it by softening the edges and adding bold colors into the mix. It sports a chunky bumper, over-sized wheel flares, a roof rack and a ladder over the passenger-side C-pillar.
The concept is nowhere near as spartan as its forbearer, which was specifically designed to offer military-style utility, but it has much more character than the generic crossovers the industry currently seems so enamored with. There’s a simple reason for this: The Compact Cruiser EV is meant to stand out.
“Our research into electric vehicles has been ongoing for more than 30 years, and we’ve come a long way,” Simon Humphries, Toyota Design’s senior general manager, said in a statement. “After an initial phase of contact with electric vehicles, people will want zero-emission cars that speak about them and express their lifestyle. And the Compact Cruiser EV is a perfect example of that trend.”
So why release new images of the vehicle now, nearly six months after it made it’s debut? Because the Compact Cruiser EV just won 2022 Car Design Award for concept vehicles. Unfortunately, as of now, the Compact Cruiser EV is nothing more than a design concept. It would appear that Toyota is understandably proud of what its team came up. Perhaps that pride will lead the marque to actually build the SUV, or at least something close to it. Maybe they could even equip it with the simulated manual transmission system the company is developing for battery-powered vehicles. That just might make it an electric dream.
Check out more images of the Compact Cruiser EV below: