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Toyota FT-4X Crossover Going After Kia Soul?
When the Kia Soul was first brought to the marketplace in 2009, it was just one of several boxy cars on the market.
No-one really expected anything special from this vehicle, but with a savvy marketing campaign and an urban style all its own, the Soul went on to put the likes of the Scion XB and the Nissan Cube out of business.
That is exactly what Toyota are looking to do with the FT-4X Concept.
The Toyota FT-4X concept has been officially unveiled at the New York Auto Show, and at first glance it appears to be a rather juiced-up version of the Honda Element and Kia Soul.
2018 Toyota FT-4X AWD
It’s certainly a funky look, and one that could be the forerunner of a production model designed to go up against the Soul crossover.
The name itself is derived from the much longer “Future Toyota Four-Wheel Drive Crossover,” with Toyota looking at this model as an unconventional crossover.
By that, we mean that they see the FT-4X as a functional vehicle that will be equally at home on city streets as it would be in off-road environments.
It must be said that the look of the vehicle, especially up front, is similar to that of the FJ40 Land Cruiser and FJ Cruiser, both former off-road models delivered by Toyota.
While the overall profile is a boxy one, the addition of a vertical window over the rear fender, as well as rear doors that open vertically or outwardly, give it a bit of a different look.
There are a lot of cool features inside the FT-4X, many of which are in place to cater to the outdoors types.
The sound system can be removed and used as a portable unit, while the HVAC vents in the center can be turned downwards to cool items below them.
A sleeping bag is neatly tucked away in the center arm rest, and the front door handles can also be used as water bottles.
It is worth noting that this is a concept model, and that many of the features mentioned here would simply not be viable in a FT 4X production model.
Official release date in U.S.
The FT-4X release date hasn’t been announced, but it could hit the US-market in late 2018 or early 2019.
Toyota FT-4X price
There was no word on the Toyota FT-4X pricing, but we expect it to have a similar pricing range as the current Kia Soul.
Serious threat to Kia Soul or not?
The big question that needs to be asked now is whether this Toyota model could be considered a serious threat to the Soul crossover vehicle.
It’s really impossible to say without knowing what the finished vehicle would look like and how it would perform, but what we do know is that the Soul will be in its 3rd generation before this model sees the light of day.
That would mean more upgrades and potentially even new models (AWD all-terrain, improved EV, etc.) for the Soul, meaning that the FT-4X would still have some catching up to do.