The Compact Cruiser EV is Toyota’s answer to the new Jeep Renegade. Based on the FT-4X concept from 2017, the SUV features a short wheelbase with minimal overhangs and a bash plate to tackle tough terrain.
Also known as the LiteCruiser, the EV is part of Toyota’s plans to release 30 EVs by 2030. Many fans call it a baby Toyota Land Cruiser because the SUV is tiny and electric, and although it remains a concept vehicle, Toyota might release it by 2024.
Toyota has a good history of making off-road capable SUVs. Big names like the Land Cruiser and FJ Cruiser have greatly impacted the off-road segment. However, Toyota discontinued the Land Cruiser in the United States in 2022, and the last time they sold the FJ Cruiser in America was in 2014.
Fortunately, the marque aims to retain its edge over off-road SUVs as it moves toward electric vehicles. They announced in late 2021 that one of their first projects would be an all-electric FJ Cruiser-style SUV.
The LiteCruiser received an award at the Car Design Awards for being the Best Concept car in 2022. It defeated big names like the Audi Skysphere and Porsche’s Mission R. The spokesperson from the Car Design Awards was also a huge fan of Toyota’s concept and stated that “the LiteCruiser project revives one of the most iconic Toyota off-roaders for the electric era.”
The LiteCruiser Is Part Of The New Generation Electric SUVs
According to Toyota’s senior designer Simon Humphries, the LiteCruiser is a good example of future electric SUVs that speak about their owners and express their lifestyles.
Ever since Tesla showcased the Cybertruck, there’s been a rise in interest in electric off-roaders. Big names like the GMC Hummer EV series and the Rivian R1 have already made their debut, which means that competition in the electric off-road segment will be fierce. Furthermore, thanks to the Suzuki Jimny being affordable, most of these SUVs will have a similar price range.
Other automakers, like the Volkswagen Group, plan to launch an all-electric pickup and rugged SUV in 2026. Stellantis is bringing a couple of electric SUVs under the Jeep brand, and Mercedes-Benz has announced its plans to release the all-electric Mercedes EQG.
Unlike the rest, when Toyota showcased the LiteCruiser, they knew who they were advertising it too. Their target customers are young drivers in urban areas who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and camping. The small electric SUV could appeal to even young people like students.
The LiteCruiser’s Design And Performance
Like most off-road SUVs, the LiteCruiser has a rough look. It has a roof rack, tow hooks, skid plates, and chunky all-terrain tires. It could resemble the 2023 Toyota bZ4X, which has much in common with the Toyota RAV4.
Motor Biscuit has hinted that the LiteCruiser might share powertrain components with some of the automaker’s upcoming electric vehicles. An example of one of these vehicles is the Tacoma EV pickup truck.
Like most off-road models, the LiteCruiser will certainly have an all-wheel-drive system. This means the Compact Cruiser EV will have at least two electric motors, one for each of the wheels—front and back.
Sources: Toyota, Porsche, Motor Biscuit