Toyota might have been late to the EV party but it sure did gatecrash in style with no less than 16 EVs unveiled at a recent event. Amongst the myriad of concept cars, one caught our eye and it is a midsize SUV destined to revive the FJ Cruiser moniker. Currently being called as the Compact Cruiser EV, the name does partly give away its intentions of being an all-electric Ford Bronco rival.
The proportions suggest the same and the chunky styling cues are pretty much reminiscent of the FJ Cruiser. It’s compact but is festooned with off-road gear including massive wheel-arches and plenty of cladding. It is a tad bit more conventional than the FJ Cruiser and has a boxy look to it. We love the bonnet scoop and the headlamps blended into the black grille. It all looks rugged and destined for an off-road trail.
A dead giveaway is the side mirrors and there are plenty of small but significant FJ vibes being sprinkled here. There is not much information on the battery or even a confirmation of its existence in the Toyota line-up but that’s all but a mere formality considering retro-themed SUVs with an EV heart are a rage at this point.
We expect a global debut for the production version around 2024 and the car to arrive in Australia by 2025. It might seem like a long wait but fans of the FJ will rejoice that Toyota is finally bringing its boxy icon in an all-new avatar. Needless to say, 4×4 off-roaders are not new for Toyota and it has many famous names in its product line-up including the Land Cruiser.
But while the Land Cruiser is sticking to its original recipe, the Compact Cruiser has been carefully designed to appeal to the massive 4×4 lifestyle EV segment which has been brewing off late. The FJ Cruiser was discontinued in 2014 due to lacklustre sales but the market has changed drastically and the Compact Cruiser EV is the right product at the right time. Let’s hope it comes sooner rather than later!