It's the real deal. It is a year away from sales. From the press conference they said the exterior is production ready!!!... they are finalizing the interior (and didn't show it). Pricing is still yet to be determined but they said we would be shocked how low it will be... It is based off of the 4 Runner platform and yet the wheel base is shorter. It will be available in manual and auto. Have a rear locking diff. Expected production for the first year is in the 40 thousands.
And people complain about the Element... This thing is hideous. First car i see that actually should have been toned down from the prototype. The side view is horrible, those back lights look like overgrown pimples, and the detailing on the bumpers... eeek. And on top of all that, it's a Toyota, so we will have to see them for ever and ever, as they will never die and go to car hell where they deserve to be. But that's just my opinion, i'm sure some people will like it. At least for it's practicality.