The Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer Toyota Motor Corporation recently announced that its concept car Compact Cruiser EV has won the prestigious 2022 Car Design Award. The company stated that its Compact Cruiser EV which was first unveiled in December last year at the Mega Web in Tokyo and created by its team based at Toyota ED2 (ED Square) in Nice, France was presented with The Car Design Award for Concept Vehicles. The award was given to Toyota during a ceremony held at the ADI Design Museum in Milan during the annual Milano Design Week and world-renown Salone del Mobile – the Milan Furniture Fair.
Commenting on the achievement of this momentous accolade, Toyota Design Senior General Manager Simon Humphries said, “Our research into electric vehicles has been ongoing for more than 30 years, and we’ve come a long way. After an initial phase of contact with electric vehicles, people will want zero-emission cars that speak about them and express their lifestyle. And the Compact Cruiser EV is a perfect example of that trend.”
The Car Design Award, which was established in 1984 by Fulvio Cinti, the creator and editor-in-chief of Auto&Design magazine for more than 30 years, is split into three categories: production vehicles, concept vehicles, and brand design language and overall consistency. The Car Design Award winners are chosen by an international jury of 11 professionals from some of the world’s most respected automotive magazines.
Silva Baruffaldi, President of the Award Jury and Editor of Auto&Design during the ceremony said, “As jury president, I can comment that this year Toyota Design was among the finalists in all the award categories. For the Brand Design Language, with the Aygo Cross for Production Cars and of course the Compact Cruiser EV, winner in the Concept Cars category. As the Car Design Award is not assigned to a car but to the design team author of the project” continued Baruffaldi, “this year’s edition marks a great recognition for Toyota global design.”
The Compact Cruiser EV is a prototype off-road vehicle inspired by Toyota’s renowned Land Cruiser cars from the first generation particularly the FJ Cruiser. The concept has a retro design on the front, with a grille with Toyota branding in the centre surrounded by horizontally aligned LED headlights. It also receives a chunky front bumper with a huge silver skid plate and jutting squared-off wheel arches. Meanwhile, the bonnet is flat and includes a large, central air scoop.
An extensive amount of body cladding and a significant kink in the window line in the side profile can also be spotted in the EV concept. The blacked-out A-pillar and contrasting colour for the C-pillar give the roof a floating impression. Meanwhile, the vehicle’s robustness is further enhanced with the side-mounted ladder and custom roof rack. It also gets a set of futuristic-looking alloy wheels with all-terrain tyres. Moving on to the Compact Cruiser EV’s rear end, it sports a set of squarish LED taillights, Toyota insignia on the tailgate, and an unusual roof rack extension into the tailgate itself. The rear bumper is equally hefty as the front and features a noticeable silver skid plate.
So far, Toyota has not announced any further details regarding the Compact Cruiser EV’s technical specifications. However, it is likely to be built on a hybridised version of Toyota’s TNGA platform, which also supports the bigger bZ4x SUV. Rumours have also stated that it will sport a dual-motor setup with all-wheel drive as standard in production spec.
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