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Report: Toyota Pondering Jeep Wrangler Competitor

Report: Toyota Pondering Jeep Wrangler Competitor

Toyota is considering a new small SUV that’s a dedicated off-roader similar to the Jeep Wrangler. At least that’s the word from Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz, who was interviewed on the sidelines of the Detroit Auto Show by Motor Trend.

“Everyone moved out of that segment because of truck CAFE ratings. But we’re getting a lot of requests from folks who want another FJ or some variant,” Lentz told Motor Trend. He stopped short of stating out-right that the company would produce a new FJ variant, but his quote says quite a lot about Toyota managements’ thinking around the possibility.

It isn’t just lip service either. Toyota displayed the FT-4X Concept at last year’s New York Auto Show and then the similar FT-AC Concept a few months ago in Los Angeles. Both concepts were SUV’s destined for adventure and off-roading, though it was the assumption of most in the industry that these concepts were mere design studies to foreshadow the next RAV4 and 4Runner.

Apparently those concepts were foreshadowing something else.

Lentz went on to say in the interview that everyone has to crunch CAFE numbers in order to determine if such a product is feasible. So for now it sounds like a new SUV has not been given the full green light at Toyota, but it may very well be close to it.

It’s anyone’s guess as to when such a product could arrive to market.





 

About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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  1. Andrew_L
    adk024
    I don't see how a fwd/awd can compete with the wrangler...


    If it's a proper FJ replacement I don't think it will be. If it's anything like the concept pictured above then yea it will be FWD based and not compete well.
    adk024
    I don't see how a fwd/awd can compete with the wrangler...
    Andrew_L
    Why not the Wrangler has no competition and is doing great sales wise.
    carnut
    I hope they do more than just ponder it. I hope they build one.
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