Toyota Patents The Funkiest Crossover Van Since The Honda Element – WebTimes

March 23, 2024 | by

Sliding front and rear doors, three rows of seats, and rugged design make this the perfect adventure vehicle

 Toyota Patents The Funkiest Crossover Van Since The Honda Element

The overwhelming popularity of SUVs means that automakers are looking to borrow their rugged design cues to sell vans and minivans, too. Toyota is no exception, and late last year, it blew the covers off the X-Van Gear Concept at the Japan Mobility Show 2023, a study whose design has now been patented, raising hopes for a production model.

The original X-Van Gear wasn’t exactly an over-the-top study to begin with; it appeared more like a crowd-pleaser version of a road-ready vehicle rather than a wild concept light-years away from production.

However, much like Acura’s internal concept sedan images, filing these designs with the patent office doesn’t guarantee Toyota’s intention to put them into production. It’s plausible that they did so to safeguard these designs from other brands that might entertain any outlandish ideas.

One of several studies showcased at the event, the X-Van Gear boasts a boxy design along with front and rear sliding doors. The rugged plastic cladding combined with the color palette, which are both reminiscent of the FJ Cruiser’s style, as well the X-Van’s overall proportions, culminate in a vehicle that sits somewhere between a van and an SUV, not too dissimilar to the Honda Element from the 2000s.

Read: Toyota’s New Van Concepts Are Wild, Weird, And Futuristic

Inside, it offers three rows of seats that were mounted on rails in the floor, which allows them to be slid around and reorganized. Together with the B-pillarless doors, it makes for a wide open space that could be used a lounge or a dining room for campers.

The X-Van Gear Concept at the Japan Mobility Show 2023

Toyota patented these designs in early March, prompting speculation in Japan about the possibility of a production car being in the works. The vehicle depicted matches the concept car, with the exception of the roof rack and basket that are missing here. However, all the other key features such as the boxy wheel arch flares with sliding door rails, black A, B, and D pillars, along with the contrasting C pillar, and the narrow daytime running lights above the pixelated headlights are all evident in the patent filing.

At 4,695 mm in length, 1,820 mm in width, and 1,855 mm in height, the X-Van is comparable in size to Toyota’s existing Noah and Voxy vans. Despite this, Toyota has not officially confirmed whether the X-Van will enter production.

However, the question remains: should Toyota pursue production of this quirky adventure van, and if so, do you think it would have any luck in North America?


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