Electric Toyota FJ Cruiser Successor Shelved To Focus on Fighting Tesla: Report
The Toyota Compact Cruiser was set to be a sort of electric successor to the FJ Cruiser. Now it’s probably canned.
Another day, another product we all would've loved getting flushed. At least, that's the rumor. Apparently, Toyota's EV plans aren't aggressive enough and the Japanese automaker is adjusting. As a part of these changes, many of the EV concepts the automaker showed us several months ago are hitting the chopping block, including the much-loved Compact Cruiser.
The news comes after Toyota allegedly made a severe miscalculation in demand and adoption rates for electric vehicles. Its current electric architecture is called e-TNGA, and it underpins the company's memorably named bZ4X crossover. It's a compromised platform, built as such to enable the production of EVs on the automaker's existing ICE-focused production lines.
The victim is allegedly the Compact Cruiser, as well as an electric version of the new Toyota Crown. We didn't know much about the Compact Cruiser—it was too pure for this world—but we do know it would've been a smaller follow-up to the FJ Cruiser. I always thought of it as a sort of electric Suzuki Jimny, just a little bigger to accommodate my elephantine American lifestyle. It would've been perfect for all of my needs, of course.
According to Reuters, many inside Toyota see Tesla as a benchmark—a benchmark it's nowhere close to. With its so-called Gigafactories and associated production technology, Toyota allegedly sees itself and its suppliers as uncompetitive in terms of cost with the Texas-based company. Many other automakers are following Tesla's model as well, primarily Hyundai and General Motors. The duo is investing billions in dedicated EV plants, uncompromised vehicle architectures, and battery cell manufacturing facilities. Ford and Stellantis are doing much of the same, although the former has no dedicated EV architecture and the latter is well behind the curve in terms of bringing an electric vehicle to market.
Toyota will reportedly respond to its perceived uncompetitiveness in the EV segment by developing a new EV architecture, one that will likely be more in line with something from Tesla, GM, and others. This is still a rumor, though. Who knows, maybe we'll eventually get the Compact Cruiser in a different form or maybe Toyota will stick with its current EV platform. Until the Japanese automaker says anything, we won't know for sure.
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