In recent years, the supply of pure off-road vehicles available on the market has been reduced to its minimum expression: completely displaced by SUVs, which are vehicles oriented to road use endowed with an aesthetic that tries to emulate that of the models with True off-road skills, barely a few niche proposals survive today.
Jeep Wrangler, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Suzuki Jimny, Toyota Land Cruiser … stop counting. However, some brands are again shyly betting on this category, because due to the increasing “domestication” of SUVs, some customers have begun to demand vehicles capable of handling with ease in difficult terrain.
Thus, models like the new Ford Bronco and INEOS Grenadier show us that there is still hope for off-road vehicles; Furthermore, the transition to electric mobility could give them some impetus, since the high torque offered by electric motors makes them ideal for this type of application, while their small size makes it possible to dispense with the bulky transmission shaft used in 4 × 4 systems. traditional.
Little by little, manufacturers are beginning to “jump on the bandwagon” of electric SUVs ( Bollinger B1, Jeep Wrangler Magneto, Mercedes-Benz EQG, Rivian R1S… ); in fact, some rumors indicate that encouraged by the undeniable success of the F-150 Lightning pickup, Ford could later launch an electric version of the Bronco.
It is not clear if Toyota will bet on a chassis of stringers and cross members
The latest to ‘jump on the bandwagon has been Toyota, which has unveiled an interesting concept car that combines its long tradition as a manufacturer of SUVs with a next-generation electric powertrain: the Compact Cruiser EV, which was revealed yesterday along with fourteen other concepts. cars that advance the future zero-emissions range of the Japanese company.
As its name suggests, the Toyota Compact Cruiser EV is a tribute to the classic Land Cruisers; Specifically, it is from the J40 generation, which was in production from 1960 to 2001. This is not the first remake of the Land Cruiser J40, since in 2006 Toyota launched the FJ Cruiser, an off-road vehicle with a retro aesthetic derived from the Land Cruiser Prado that is still used today. sells in some markets.
Although it is not confirmed, it is to be expected that it will use a chassis of stringers and cross members like that of the Land Cruiser (although we should not rule out that it is a monocoque either), while its powertrain could be shared with the Tacoma pick-up, whose The electric version was also seen during the event held yesterday.
We also cannot lose sight of the fact that Toyota is currently testing an electric Land Cruiser in Australia in collaboration with the mining company BHP. This vehicle is based on the long-lived Land Cruiser J70, a model that debuted in 1984 and is still in production in many regions of the world. Will the production Compact Cruiser EV use some of your technical solutions?
The aesthetics of the prototype evokes the past of the brand: the horizontal hood, the prominent wheel arches, the plastic protections that surround its entire perimeter, the roof rack, the high ground clearance, the off-road tires … Everything It leads us to think that it is a pure off-road vehicle, which would make it a direct rival to the also retro Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler. If finally, its chassis is monocoque, then it would be a “camper” SUV called to compete against the Ford Bronco Sport.