Toyota unveils FTX full-size pickup concept

Toyota's FTX full-size pickup concept truck -- offering a glimpse into the company's future full-size truck strategy -- made its world premiere at a press conference today at the 2004 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. "The FTX concept was developed to make a bold statement about Toyota's future full-size pickup truck plans," said Jim Press, executive vice president and COO, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. "It is a statement that promises the brute-power to match its bold styling and its simple proportions. And it's a statement we mean to back up." The FTX concept was developed by the TMS Advanced Product Strategy Group and Calty, Toyota's North American-based, research and design center located in Newport Beach, Calif. The team was assigned to explore future possibilities of Toyota truck DNA by developing a truck concept with a double-duty personality and a trace of Land Cruiser heritage that advances the mainstream American truck to the next level.At nearly 19-feet in length, nearly seven feet in width, and six-and-one-half feet 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 suicide doors.The FTX features a huge sculptural power-ball that emanates from the rear wheels and visually pushes the truck forward. The massive front end is proud and serious and integrates into the body-side, creating a unified statement of power. The generous use of sculpture in the body gives a rich high-quality feel that elevates the FTX beyond a mere work truck. Massive metal extruded bumpers and rocker panels add an element of toughness and durability.The FTX was developed to raise the idea of functionality to a new level by integrating a surprising array of sensible 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 smooth operating 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 seat height and steering wheel angle of the FTX are positioned extremely high, giving the driver a feeling of total command and conveying the feel of operating a big rig. Suspension seats isolate the driver and passenger from rough terrain and include deep center pads styled after a horseman's saddle for comfort. Low effort control switches and minimal operational levers are the key to operational simplicity. All vital information is accessed through a central display three-dimensional screen.The unveiling of the FTX truck concept comes on the heels of the recent launch of the Tundra Double Cab. The Double Cab is the latest addition of the American-built Tundra full-size pickup. Taller and wider than both Tundra Regular- and Access Cab models, the new Double Cab combines the interior roominess and appointments of the Toyota Sequoia full-size sport utility vehicle. And, the cargo bed is longer, and has more capacity, than the Ford F150 and Nissan Titan.Tundra is currently built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI). Production of the Tundra will expand in mid-2006 with the opening of a new pickup plant in the heart of truck country, San Antonio, Texas.

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