Toyota Unveils FTX Full-Size Hybrid Pickup Concept
TORONTO, ONTARIO — Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI), unveiled the FTX full-size gasoline-electric hybrid pickup truck concept on February 16 at the 2005 Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS), in Toronto.
The FTX concept was developed jointly by Calty, Toyota's North American- based, research and design centre located in Newport Beach, California and the Advanced Product Strategy Group at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
At nearly 5.8 metres (19 ft) in length, 2.1 metres (7 ft) in width, and 2 metres (6.5 ft) in height, the FTX offers ample proportions. The FTX is a full-fledged body-on-frame, "Super-C-Cab" 4x4 pickup truck. It has the interior room of a double cab, yet opens 90 degrees with access doors.
The FTX was developed to raise functionality by including an array of features aimed at both work and play. Exterior features include bumpers with integrated tow hooks and special hideaway universal carabiner-type tie-down hooks in the truck bed. Underneath the rear skid-plate is a multi-functional unit that houses an electric generator, an air compressor and other outlets. Inside the bed is a solid metal collapsible hidden job box that can be erected for safe storage of tools and supplies. Finally, hidden away in the rear tailgate is a hideaway ramp that extends to the ground when the gate is open, allowing heavy items to be rolled into the bed, instead of being lifted.
The interior displays a fusion of structure, luxurious materials, and new technology specific to a big truck. The instrument panel and centre console arch bend outward, wrapping around each occupant to form two protective cells. The wide centre console contains an armrest-mounted control-arm that includes all instrumentation and an operational lever that is angled toward the driver, creating the effect of an operator station.
The seat height and steering wheel angle of the FTX are positioned high, giving the driver a feeling of command. Suspension seats isolate the driver and passenger from rough terrain and include deep centre pads styled after a saddle for comfort. Low-effort control switches and minimal operational levers are the key to operational simplicity. All vital information is accessed through a three-dimensional central display screen.
Foldaway rear seats are styled after those on recreational boats. The rear seat base is affixed to a centre beam, suspending the seats off the floor for under-seat storage. Oversized door and pillar pull handles and seat mounted grips assist in ingress and egress. A large overhead track lamp can be pulled down and slid side-to-side across the cabin.
Under the hood, the FTX is powered by a large-displacement V8 hybrid gasoline-electric engine that pumps out loads of torque while delivering V6 fuel efficiency.
The FTX truck concept joins the North American-built Tundra in the full-size pickup category. Tundra is currently built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) but production will expand in mid-2006 with the opening of a new pickup plant in San Antonio, Texas.