Toyota FJ Cruiser gets Baja-style upgrades
In a world of watered-down soccer mom and programmer dad SUVs and small crossovers, the Toyota FJ Cruiser remains one of the few options that’s not afraid to go head to head with mud, dirt, boulders and whatever else Mother Nature throws at it in a rage. With the help of Toyota's performance arm Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the FJ is now even more eager to leave the asphalt in its dusty wake – behold the one-off FJ-S.
The FJ-S borrows a few cues from the Tacoma TRD T/X Baja in booting up for some of the Earth's most notorious off-road terrain. TRD beefed up the chassis with what it calls an underbody "exoskeleton." The stiffened chassis helps the FJ-S finesse and power over terrain with the help of Bilstein racing shocks (60 mm in front, 50 mm in back) and 17-inch TRD Midnight Black beadlock-style wheels all rolled up in BFGoodrich all-terrain tires. A front nudge bar and rock rails add a little extra protection.
TRD popped open the hood and decided it wasn't entirely satisfied with the FJ's 4.0-liter V-6. So, it mounted a supercharger with Twin Vortex System and air-to-water intercooler, boosting output by 30 percent up to 345 hp. Peak torque gets a 25 percent bump up to 340 lb-ft (461 Nm) at 3,000 rpm. The custom cat-back exhaust ensures the driver and everyone around the FJ-S know all about the off-roader's anxiousness to get back in the wild.
The FJ-S interior is distinguished by two-tone leather, FJ-S logos on the seat backs and custom floor mats.
Toyota will show the FJ-S along with eight other custom-designed vehicles at the SEMA Show beginning on October 30.
About the Author
Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.
All articles by C.C. Weiss
What it needs is a manual diesel. Having a gas guzzling 345hp road engine is great when you are cruising the freeways near San Francisco but it's not so good 100 miles north east of Tonopah, NV on a steep dusty trail with the nearest gas station hours away. The supercharger helps with the altitude (Nevada has valleys higher than the highest mountain on the east coast) but at the cost of terrible gas consumption. The 3.0 Diesel other markets get isn't great on power but gets over 300 ft.lbs of torque and great economy.
The FJ Cruiser was supposed to be dropped from the 2007 model year and yet here it is for 2013, that is a testament to the desire of Toyota customers for a proper off road capable vehicle, but can't we have better visibility? Does it need to be a caricature of an FJ40? My wife is 4'9" and she can't see out of it in most directions. Does it have to have the back end of a box van? Can't we have some visibility? How about an update?
I Completely concur with the observations of the comment contributor above. Toyota manufactures great vehicles. The suggestion advanced above, should be seriously considered! These types of vehicles are principally used for the 'outback, and suitably equipping them for that kind of usage, is sound and logical because of the appeal they will have for the outdoor sportsman! As well, - add a premium, state-of-the-art formula anti-corrosion protection package! Owners will pay extra for it, and not begrudge a dime for such a package!
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