Toyota Compact Cruiser EV concept wins the 2022 Car Design Award

The J80 Land Cruiser-inspired retro EV has won against the Audi Skysphere, Porsche Mission R and Volvo Concept Recharge, and others.

The Toyota Compact Cruiser EV was previewed first late last year alongside 15 other concept electric vehicles as part of Toyota and Lexus’ future global electric car line-up. The two firms had detailed plans then to launch 30 new electric vehicles by 2030.


The Toyota Compact Cruiser EV has now won the 2022 Car Design Award for concept vehicles in Milan, Italy, thus prompting Toyota to release more images of the off-road-focused, retro-styled SUV. It has won against other finalists in this category that included the likes of Audi Skysphere, Porsche Mission R, Volvo Concept Recharge, Polestar O2, Lexus Electrified Sport, IED Alpine A4810, among others.


The Compact Cruiser EV has been created by the Toyota Europe Design development centre in Nice, France. The fact to be noted is that the concept SUV is still not out in flesh, and the life-sized prototype pictured here is just a static clay model, as is clear by the dark tint on the windows.


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As for its design, the Compact Cruiser EV evidently takes inspiration from the first generation of Toyota’s legendary Land Cruiser models, while also being reminiscent of the FJ Cruiser from 2006.


Up front, keeping up with the retro theme, the Compact Cruiser EV features a grille with the Toyota lettering in the centre flanked by horizontally arranged LED headlights, which lends it a J80 Land Cruiser-style face. There’s then the bulky front bumper with a large silver skid plate and protruding, squared-off wheel arches that clearly announces its off-road intent. Meanwhile, the bonnet, is flat and features a wide, central air scoop.


What stands out the most is the heavy body cladding and prominent kink in the window line. The contrasting colour for the C-pillar and the blacked-out A-pillar also give the roof a floating effect. Meanwhile, the side-mounted ladder and bespoke roof rack further add to the ruggedness of the vehicle. The retro-styled wheels shod in all-terrain tyres are a cool touch.


At the rear, the Compact Cruiser EV has squarish LED tail-lights, Toyota lettering on the tailgate and, an extension of the roof rack into the tailgate itself. Similar to the front, the rear bumper is also similarly bulky and features a prominent silver skid plate.