Toyota has offered a closer look at its electric answer to the Suzuki Jimny.
The Compact Cruiser – or LiteCruiser, as it may be known – was revealed alongside 15 other electric cars in 2021, as part of a plan to sell 3.5 million electric cars annually by 2030.
More images of the car have been released on the back of its category win at the 2022 Car Design Awards in Milan, Italy.
Although it hasn’t been confirmed for production, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda described the 16 cars he revealed as the “showroom of the future” for Toyota and Lexus. The brand plans to sell a fleet of 30 electric cars by 2030.
Already the Lexus RZ concept from the forward-looking fleet of EV concepts has become a reality, so it’s not unreasonable to expect the Compact Cruiser will hit showrooms in some form, at some point.
Toyota hasn’t detailed what will power the compact off-roader, but has confirmed the concept pictured here has all-wheel drive.
Designers for the concept took inspiration from the first LandCruiser, while the detailing has plenty in common with the retro-futuristic FJ Cruiser sold in Australia between 2011 and 2016.
There’s also more than a hint of 70 Series about the shape of the LED running lights up front.
The oversized bash plates, black cladding, and roof-mounted snowboards are amped up design elements unlikely to carry over unchanged to production, but they will inform how the car that could eventually hit showrooms will look.
The first electric Toyota to hit Australia will be the bZ4X SUV set to touch down early in 2023.
Electric off-roaders are few and far between at the moment, but that won’t be the case for long.
Jeep has committed to building an electric Wrangler, while Ineos is developing an EV smaller than its Grenadier.
Electric utes such as the Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer EV also promise to take e-power deep into the wilderness… once production of both ramps up.
Toyota itself showed what looks to be an electric version of its Tundra pickup truck in 2021 as well.