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Wednesday 16 August 2017
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¿La próxima guagua pequeña de Toyota?

 

Tras el éxito de su nueva C-HR, Toyota sigue experimentando con guaguas subcompactas. Muestra de ello, es el prototipo que presentó en el auto show de Nueva York, el FT-4X Concept. A diferencia de la C-HR, cuya apariencia es radical y moderna, la de este concepto es marcadamente retro. Ilustraciones: Toyota

 

Toyota se apuntó otro gran éxito con la C-HR. Su nueva crossover subcompacta arrancó con una gran acogida en nuestro mercado y de seguir ese ritmo, pronto estará entre los modelos de mayor venta en el país. Aún antes de lanzarla, la automotriz ya estaba estudiando la posibilidad de producir otra guagua subcompacta más. Y es que en la pasada edición del New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) presentó un prototipo muy interesante que apunta hacia un futuro modelo en su línea de guaguas. De hecho, el nombre así lo sugiere: FT-4X (Future Toyota 4 wheel drive crossover).

 

Lo interesante de la FT-4X es que aún cuando apunta hacia el futuro de la marca, también visita su pasado.  Su diseño es futurista, pero tiene a la vez un marcado aire retro que claramente emula a las clásicas camionetas FJ Land Cruiser de las décadas de los sesenta y setenta. Lo mismo hizo la muy popular FJ Cruiser que estuvo en el mercado del 2007 al 2014. Tenía un diseño muy moderno en el que incorporaba detalles muy distintivos de las Land Cruisers antiguas como la capota blanca y la máscara alrededor de los focos y la parrilla. Así que muy bien podríamos describir a la FT-4X como una FJ Cruiser en miniatura.

 

Utilizo la palabra “miniatura” porque la FT-4X es bien pequeña. Su tamaño la ubica en el pujante segmento de las guaguas subcompactas al que cada vez más automotrices están entrando.

Aparte de su diseño tan llamativo, la FT-4X tiene muchos otros detalles innovadores. Por ejemplo, la puerta del área de carga. Está compuesta de un complejo, pero muy práctico sistema que lo mismo se puede abrir como si fuera una sola puerta o dos. En el modo de dos, tiene un par de puertas pequeñas que abren hacia afuera al estilo de un Mini Cooper Countryman. Por medio del mismo sistema, ambas puertas se unen y entonces esa sola pieza puede abrirse hacia arriba como en una guagua SUV tradicional. Para facilitar el manejo de objetos, el piso del área de carga se puede deslizar hacia afuera de la carrocería.

 

Con la FT-4X, Toyota incluso estudia un patrón de diseño que es bastante arriesgado: la asimetría. Aunque es un poco difícil de detectar, el lado izquierdo de esta guagua es distinto al derecho. Y es que el lado del conductor contiene una ventana lateral que el lado del pasajero no tiene. Es un cristal rectangular vertical ubicado en el grueso poste “D” del area de carga. Baja desde la capota hasta el guardalodo trasero.

 

Los diseñadores de Toyota fueron muy valientes en incluir esta ventana en un solo lado ya que las pocas veces que la asimetría ha sido utilizada en automóviles, los resultados han sido mixtos. Dos ejemplos recientes son el Hyundai Veloster y la Nissan Cube. Del lado del chofer, el Veloster tiene una sola puerta, pero del lado del pasajero tiene dos y en todos los mercados en los que participa ha tenido una gran acogida. Mientras, la Nissan Cube, que contó son ventanas laterales traseras que lucían distintas en cada lado de la carrocería, fue muy exitosa en Japón y algunos otros países, pero en otros no, como fue el caso de Puerto Rico. Así que pueden ser muy riesgosos los diseños asímétricos, pero precisamente, los diseños arriesgados siempre son los más interesantes.

 

Los planes de Toyota son de estudiar la reacción del público en el circuito internacional de exhibiciones de autos y entonces decidir si llevarla a producción. Ahora bien, hay una señal de que la FT-4X definitivamente sería muy exitosa en el mercado: su parecido a la FJ Cruiser. En entrevista con MotorShowPR en el NYIAS, William Fey, vicepresidente senior de operaciones de autos de Toyota para Norteamérica, México y Puerto Rico, contó que de todos los modelos descontinuados de Toyota, por el que más los fans de la marca piden un regreso es la FJ Cruiser. Así que la noción de una FJ Cruiser pequeñita pudiera ser muy llamativa para muchos consumidores.

 

 

-Andrés O’Neill, Jr.

Comentarios

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Periodista automotriz, escritor, viajero, road tripper y fanático del metal. Su carrera de más de 20 años lo ha llevado a cubrir eventos en países de Asia, Europa, el Caribe y Latinoamérica, además de gran parte de Estados Unidos y Canadá. Actualmente escribe la sección de autos del semanario de negocios "Caribbean Business", las de autos y viajes del semanario "CB en Español" y de las revistas "Imagen" y "Buena Vida". En radio cubre la industria automotriz en el programa "AutoShow 580" (sábados a las 4:00 p.m. con repetición a la medianoche) por la estación WKAQ de Univisión Radio y los lunes en la mañana conduce las cápsulas informativas "MotorShow" en las estaciones "Estereotempo", "Z-93", "La Nueva 94" y "El Circo de La Mega".


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