This article includes speculative illustrations for a hypothetical Toyota Compact Cruiser EV Pickup created by Thanos Pappas for CarScoops that are neither related to nor endorsed by Toyota.
The Toyota Compact Cruiser EV is one of the coolest concept cars of recent times, so when Toyota published more photos of the full-scale model, we couldn’t help it but wonder what it would look like as a pickup truck. Thus, we created a bunch of renderings, hoping that we might see something similar enter production.
Let’s start by saying that the Compact Cruiser is just a concept at this stage, and while there are rumors about a possible production version in the future, Toyota is keeping its cards close to its chest. Still, the enthusiastic response to the concept might lead to a baby Land Cruiser based on Toyota’s eTNGA architecture that will be used in numerous production models.
See Also: Toyota Shows Us More Of The Fantastic Compact Cruiser EV Concept
As suggested by its name, the Compact Cruiser has a rather compact footprint. Toyota hasn’t given us the detailed measurements but the SUV should be shorter than 4.5 m (177 inches) long. Since we didn’t want to worsen the vehicle’s off-road angles, we kept the same rear overhang and wheelbase. Thus, our pick-up conversion led to a short rear bed in double-cab configuration. A single-cab bodystyle could give it a properly sized loading space for those who intend to use it as a workhorse.
The retro-style rims of the concept look great in white, contrasting the unpainted fenders and bumpers similar to the ones on the FJ Cruiser. Toyota designers went for a duo-tone look in the SUV, so we did something similar in our pickup, giving it a dark-themed rear end. Besides cutting off the rear portion of the roof, we thought that a pair of suicide doors would look nicer so we relocated the door handles.
Read Also: Toyota Considering A Unibody Compact Pickup For The U.S. Market
Seen from the back, the pickup could retain the Wrangler-style LED taillights and the aluminum-style skid plate of the SUV. The duo-tone tailgate could serve as a seating area for campers, or as a workbench with power outlets for any kind of equipment similar to the setup on the Ford F-150 Lightning. For adventure-seekers who need to carry more luggage, a custom roof rack would do the job.
We tried many different specs for our pickup, opting for exterior shades that are fitting to its rugged nature and combining them with either black or white rims. Our favorite is probably the desert-style spec, paying homage to the Land Cruiser heritage.
See Also: Toyota’s Electric Truck Concept Likely Previews A Tacoma EV
While the concept was presented as a static full-size model – as shown by the black tinted windows – the design looks almost production-ready with only a few details needing to be toned down. Thus we didn’t change much at the front, besides adding proper LED beams borrowed from the bZ4X on the cool J80-inspired headlights.
Mechanically speaking, the most fitting choice for the Compact Cruiser in SUV and pickup forms would be the eTNGA platform. While a body-on-frame architecture like the one used by the Suzuki Jimny would probably make it more capable off-road, the unibody EV-dedicated platform would make it a better daily driver. In terms of powertrain, the dual-motor setup of the bZ4X with 215 hp (160 kW / 218 PS) and 336 Nm (247 lb-ft) of torque sounds just about right for such a vehicle, especially when it is combined with Subaru’s electric AWD system featuring X-mode and Grip Control.
Setting aside our personal fantasies for a tiny EV pickup from Toyota, the Japanese automaker is already working on a unibody pickup for the US market. High-ranked officials from Toyota Motor North America have confirmed their interest in the smaller pickup segment that is currently occupied by the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz.
The most likely scenario is a hybrid TNGA-based pickup sharing its underpinnings with the Toyota RAV4 and slotting below the body-on-frame Tacoma and Tundra. Still, a fully electric compact pickup sounds inevitable at some point in the future, so we can keep our dreams alive, hoping that Toyota will continue the development of the Compact Cruiser.