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Return of the FJ Cruiser? Toyota Teases EV Off-Roader, Electric Pickup, Reborn MR2 & More

With basically the entire global automotive industry rushing to transition from internal combustion engines to battery electric vehicles as quickly as they can, Toyota has been to this point the primary holdout, approaching a widespread electric transition with more skepticism than most automakers.

It was just recently that Toyota debuted its first ground-up EV, the bZ4x crossover—and this week Toyota has shown more of its battery-electric plans, with an array of EV concepts and prototypes that will be coming down the line.

The FJ Reborn?

There were over a dozen different EV concepts shown, with several interesting vehicles among the bunch—but none has generated as much online buzz as the "Compact Cruiser EV."

Toyota Compact Cruiser EV Concept 2021

As you can see, the Compact Cruiser bears more than a little resemblance to the Toyota FJ Cruiser of the 2000s and early 2010s. In fact, it basically looks like a scaled down version of that massively popular off-road SUV.

2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser Blue

While Toyota's presentation didn't give any real info on the Compact Cruiser, it looks to be an EV version of the concept Ford has used with the Bronco Sport, compact size, boxy retro styling, and plenty of off-road capability. Can you say "instant hit?"

Toyota Compact Cruiser EV Concept

Tacoma Goes Electric?

Just as notable, the lineup also included an EV Pickup, which looks an awful lot like a next-generation Tacoma or Hilux. Again, there were no details released, but given how hot the EV pickup market is, it's no surprise that Toyota would have something in the works.

Toyota EV Pickup Concept Front View

And while a production Toyota EV pickup might still be a ways off, the concept likely gives us a good look at what the next generation ICE-Tacoma may look like. Perhaps they'll share DNA in the way Ford's gasoline F-150 and F-150 Lightning do?

Toyota EV Pickup Concept 2021

Sports Cars, Sedans & More

Elsewhere, there were other EV concepts shown, including a several under the Lexus brand—like this four-door sport sedan that shows it's not all about crossovers and SUVs.

Lexus EV Sedan Concept

Another one of the more exciting concepts in the group was the Toyota "Sports EV" —a low slung, compact sports car that wears the enthusiast-grade "GR" branding used on the Supra, 86 and more.

Toyota Sports EV Concept 2021

A dedicated EV platform, would allow Toyota to get a little adventurous in terms of layout and motor placement, and the profile of this car suggests a rear motor, rear-drive layout. We can't be the only ones thinking this could be a reborn Toyota GR MR2 with electric power?

Toyota Sports EV Concept 2021

It's hard to say how close any of these concepts are to production, or even if they will be green-lighted for production at all. But they certainly show that Toyota is getting a lot more invested in EV power.

Toyota 2021 EV Concepts

And more importantly for us enthusiasts, these concepts also show that Toyota isn't planning on giving up its focus on making fun and interesting cars even if the gasoline engine eventually gets phased out completely.

Whether it's hitting the trail or going to a track day, the future for Toyota fans looks bright. 

  • The Toyota FJ Cruiser isn't the only 2000s SUV we'd like to see brought back. Here are some others that deserve another shot.
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