Toyota FJ Cruiser gets Baja-style upgrades
By C.C. Weiss
October 26, 2012
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.
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