Toyota FJ Cruiser
|Toyota FJ Cruiser (GSJ15W)|
|Assembly||Japan: Hamura, Tokyo, (Hino)
China: Guangzhou (GAC)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2+2-door SUV|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
|Engine||4.0 L 1GR-FE V6|
|Transmission||6-speed manual (4WD only)
|Wheelbase||105.9 in (2,690 mm)|
|Length||183.9 in (4,671 mm)|
|Width||2007-09: 74.6 in (1,895 mm)
2010-: 75.0 in (1,905 mm)
|Height||71.3 in (1,811 mm) (2WD)
72.0 in (1,829 mm) (4WD)
|Curb weight||4,050 lb (1,837 kg) (2WD)
4,290 lb (1,946 kg) (4WD manual)
4,295 lb (1,948 kg) (4WD automatic)
The Toyota FJ Cruiser is a retro style SUV with styling and off road performance reminiscent of the original Toyota FJ40 Land Cruisers. Introduced as a concept car at the January 2003 North American International Auto Show, the FJ Cruiser was approved for production after positive consumer response and debuted at the January 2005 North American International Auto Show in final production form. The FJ cruiser is built by Toyota subsidiary Hino Motors in Hamura, Japan since 2006 and shares many structural underpinnings from the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. On 5 November 2013, Toyota announced the 2014 model year Trail Teams edition would be called the "Ultimate Edition" and that the 2014 model year would be the last for the FJ Cruiser. No known successor has been announced.
Design and development
By the time the production of the original FJ40 ended in 1984 Toyota had shifted towards increasing the size and luxury of the Land Cruiser line. The idea of a new FJ with rugged capabilities of the FJ40 originated in the mid 1990s with Toyota Product Planner Dave Danzer and then Vice President of Sales and Operations Yoshi Inaba.
Danzer worked secretly with Akio Toyoda to set up a special shop at the NUMMI plant to test the feasibility of a new FJ40 by combining Tacoma underpinnings with the bodies of Toyota Bandeirante, an FJ40 based vehicle still in production in Brazil (as a diesel model only) at the time. Akio Toyoda returned to Japan to join the board of directors giving high level support to the project. Toyota's flagship design studio Calty was then brought on to deliver a fresh interpretation of the FJ40.
Calty hired veteran Chrysler automotive designer Bill Chergosky to lead the development of an offroad vehicle known internally as Rugged Youth Utility (RYU) aimed at attracting young male buyers, a segment Toyota felt they were losing touch with at the time. Many takes on the RYU concept were created including the 2001 Rugged Sports Coupe concept before a retro style design created by 24-year-old designer Jin Won Kim was chosen as the final exterior concept with Chergosky designing the interior.
The FJ Cruiser concept debuted at the 2003 Detroit Auto Show in Voodoo Blue, a color that would become the Signature color for the production FJ Cruiser. The bold styling was an immediate hit with the automotive press and general public despite competing with more exotic concepts like the Cadillac Sixteen and Dodge Tomahawk. By resurrecting design traits from the iconic FJ40, the FJ Cruiser was viewed as a new "Halo Car" for Toyota much like the similarly retro styled 2005 Mustang had done for Ford.
In the summer of 2004, Toyota began extensive off road evaluations of the FJ platform by driving development mules on many of the most difficult trails in North America including Moab, Utah, the Angeles National Forest, the Mohave Desert, and the famed Rubicon Trail. Despite each one off mule costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, the development team was determined to push the capabilities of the prototypes in order to deliver reliable off road performance in the production model. Changes to the A-TRAC traction control system and suspension tuning came as a direct result of the prototype testing.
The exterior of the FJ concept remained largely unchanged when the final production model debuted at the 2005 North American International Auto Show. However, Chief production engineer Akio Nishimura had to significantly alter the amenities offered in Chergosky's interior concept to keep the price of the production FJ Cruiser reasonable. Unique interior touches like the gear shifter that doubled as a shovel handle, removable interior lights which doubled as flashlights, and flat folding front seats were removed though several concept items remained as factory options.
The FJ Cruiser features a short wheelbase, stocky frame, and grille/headlight arrangement much like the original FJ40. Other throwback design cues include a nearly vertical windshield with three windshield wipers for maximum surface area coverage. The FJ Cruiser is also Toyota's only current vehicle to use the name "Toyota" spelled out across the grille instead of the corporate emblem which has been in use since 1990, another reference to the FJ40 and other older Toyota trucks. The FJ's body features rear opening access doors that give a unique look to the SUV. Special high strength steel was used to give the vehicle side impact protection without the need for a door pillar.
The interior of the FJ features many design elements focused on enhancing off road practicality. All interior surfaces are covered with washable rubber materials to aid in fast clean up after heavy outdoor use. The FJ also incorporates oversized controls to aid drivers with gloved hands. The 3 gauge cluster (with compass, temperature, and inclinometer) as well as the 110 volt rear outlet were carried over from the FJ Cruiser concept vehicle as options on the final production model.
At 183.9 inches in length, the FJ Cruiser is the longest compact SUV offered by Toyota in North America, slotting between the smaller RAV4 and the mid-size Highlander. Toyota sources many components from other vehicles to produce the FJ including shared engines and transmissions found in the Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner as well as suspension components used in the Prado, Hilux, Tacoma, and 4Runner.
The 4x4 FJ Cruiser has 9.6 inches of ground clearance, 34-degree approach and 30-degree departure angles, and a 27.4-degree break-over angle, with 8 inches of front and 9 inches of rear suspension travel. The FJ is also designed to ford up to 27.5 inches of water and has a 5000 lb towing capacity for both 4x4 and 4x2 variants. On road, the FJ accelerates 0-60 in 7.8 seconds and has .69 G of lateral grip tested with stock Bridgestone Dueler tires.
Structurally the FJ Cruiser incorporates a body on frame truck style design based on the Prado platform. The FJ Cruiser uses a high-mounted, double wishbone front suspension and stabilizer bar, and a 4-link rear suspension with lateral rod with coil springs and stabilizer bar. The 120-series Land Cruiser Prado, Tacoma, 4Runner, and Hilux share the same suspension parts as the FJ Cruiser. The FJ Cruiser uses power-assisted 4-piston front/2-piston rear ventilated disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and is also equipped with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and a specialized traction control system known as (A-TRAC). The A-TRAC (active traction control) system applies braking to control wheels that have lost traction mimicking the performance of a locking differential without the "binding" that can make steering difficult in normal locking differential setups.
Toyota has made revisions to the engine bay inner fender aprons due to some bulging and cracking issues with 2007 and some early 2008 models. The bulges and cracks in the inner fenders were attributed to a Toyota design flaw through certain Vehicle Identification Numbers. Toyota has addressed the problem and has changed the design.
The FJ Cruiser uses the 4.0-liter 1GR-FE DOHC V6. For the 2007 to 2009 model years, the engine came with single variable valve timing (VVT-i) which produces 237 hp (177 kW) at 5200 rpm, and 278 lb·ft (377 N·m) of torque at 3,700 rpm on 91 octane fuel. For the 2010 model year, the FJ Cruiser's engine gained Dual VVT-i technology which adjusts timing on both intake and exhaust camshafts resulting in 260 hp (194 kW) at 5600 rpm, and 271 lb·ft (367 N·m) in addition to slightly improved fuel economy on 91 octane fuel. The latest engine meets stringent LEV II/Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions certification Both versions of the 1GR-FE engine run normally on 87 octane fuel though they produce less power thus Toyota recommends premium fuel for demanding situations such as towing, off-roading, and driving at high elevation.
Four-wheel drive models equipped with the RA61F manual transmission have a full-time 4WD system that is permanently engaged; it employs front, center and rear TORSEN differentials, with a locking feature and distributes the engine's power 40:60 under most driving conditions. The TORSEN unit varies power distribution as needed, based on steering angle and wheel slippage. In the Lock position, the differential switches to 50:50 power distribution.
- 5-speed A750E automatic transmission on rear-wheel drive models.
- 5-speed A750F automatic transmission with VF2A transfer case on part-time 4x4 models
- 6-speed RA61F manual transmission with VF4B transfer case and limited slip differential on full-time 4x4 models.
Side curtain airbags for both rows and side torso airbags optional on 2007 models became standard on 2008 models. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded the FJ Cruiser its Top Safety Pick accolade. The FJ Cruiser received a "Good" overall rating in both the front and side impacts tests and also received the "Good" rating in all 14 measured categories.
|Side Rear Passenger:|
The FJ cruiser was primarily developed for the North American market but has been sold in small numbers globally since its launch. On 25 November 2010, Toyota announced sales would begin in right-hand drive form for the Japanese market. Sales began on December 4, replacing the outgoing Hilux Surf and selling alongside the Land Cruiser. Japanese produced right-hand drive models have a different rear bumper to North American models with the license plate located on the bumper as opposed to under the tailgate door handle. Right-hand drive versions also have the side indicator markers on the fender panels rather than in the side-view mirrors as is the for left-hand drive production. Sales of right-hand drive model began in Australia and New Zealand in 2011 available in 4 wheel drive automatic only.
TRD Special Edition
For North America, in 2007 Toyota Racing Development (TRD) produced 3,200 units as the limited production TRD Special Edition FJ Cruiser. This model was released with not only the body painted in a Black Diamond Pearl color, but also with a matching black roof to set itself apart from its standard, white-roofed counterparts. The TRD Special Edition model includes things such as the TRD cat-back exhaust system, TRD cold-air intake, TRD Bilstein off-road tuned shocks, rock rails, 16-inch alloy gun-metal gray finished wheels with BFGoodrich All-terrain tires, and TRD badges. The TRD Special Edition also includes mechanical changes to synchronize the locking differential with the active traction control (resulting in the rear differential no longer overriding the active traction). When FJ Cruisers first started getting built in early 2006, the rear differential would override the active traction control, except in the TRD Special Edition FJ Cruisers. However, by November of 2006, Toyota started making all FJ Cruisers so they would have this function.
Also, in 2009, after Toyota released the Trail Teams Special Edition FJ Cruiser for a year in 2008, Toyota created the TRD Package. This package was available on FJ Cruisers with the Iceberg White monotone exterior color scheme, just like the 2008 Trail Teams Special Editions, just without the blacked out trim pieces. Even though this package was known as the TRD Package, it doesn't include the same or as many features as the TRD Special Edition. Some of the features with this package were the TRD alloy wheels in a silver finish with the BFGoodrich All-terrain tires, as well as a TRD logos/graphics on the exterior for decoration. Also, the TRD Package was only offered on 2-wheel drive FJ Cruiser models.
Trail Teams Special Edition
For the 2008 model year, Toyota offered 3,200 units of the Trail Teams Special Edition FJ Cruiser which features many of the same TRD options as the TRD Special Edition including the same 16 inch alloy wheels (but in a black finish as opposed to the gun-metal grey finish of the TRD model) with BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires, as well as the TRD Bilstein shocks, and other features found on the TRDs. The number of Trail Teams Special Edition FJ Cruisers produced are as follows: 3,200 for 2008 as stated above, 1,500 units for 2010, 2,500 in 2011, and 2,500 in 2012. Toyota also announced that only 2,500 Trail Teams models will be made for the 2014 model year. No Trail Teams models were produced in 2009, however, Toyota released a TRD Package for this model year and it was used on the same Iceburg White colored FJ Cruisers that were used for the 2008 Trail Teams Special Edition, (for more information, see the TRD Special Edition section.)
Over the years, small changes have been made to the Trail Teams Special Edition FJ Cruisers, such as changing the TRD alloy wheels out for the beadlock style TRD wheels, and other minor changes. But now the 2013+ models will include the CRAWL control feature, previously used on other 4-wheel drive vehicles from Toyota and Lexus, to enhance the FJ's off-road capabilities. The Trail Teams Special Edition comes in one distinct color each year and is the only FJ variant (besides the TRD Special Edition units) offered in a monotone color scheme instead of with the traditional white roof. These are also the only FJ models to have trim pieces blacked out from the factory such as the mirrors, door handles, bumper caps, etc. Special design details carry over to the interior such as color matched fabric inserts on the seats and Trail Teams special badges. For the 2014 model year Trail Teams Special Edition will be known as the Trail Teams Ultimate Edition and will feature a few special upgrades. The Ultimate Edition FJ Cruiser will be offered in the Heritage Blue paint scheme and will feature a white-painted grille bezel while the rest of the vehicle trim remains black like the normal Trail Teams Special Edition FJ Cruisers. While all of the Trail Teams FJ Cruisers feature a race-inspired TRD/Trail Teams off road suspension designed by Bilstein, the Ultimate Edition will feature a new remote reservoir suspension. The new suspension will come slightly taller than stock with a leveled stance. Also, the new edition will come equipped with a special aluminum TRD skid plate, designed to help with the approach angle for the front of the vehicle.
The Trail Teams Special Edition color schemes that have been released each year are as follows:
ARB Edition FJ Crawler
The FJ Crawler was first offered in 2007 and is the result of a collaborating effort between Dealer Services International (DSI), known for building high quality custom packages for new vehicle dealers, and ARB, who has a long history building rugged off-road products. For participating Toyota new vehicle dealerships, the FJ Crawler could be special ordered for customers who were looking for a vehicle that is even more rugged and off-road ready than a standard Off-Road Package would provide. What the FJ Crawler package included was an ARB Front Bull Bar Bumper, an Old Man Emu 3 inch suspension lift to support the added weight of the ARB bumper and to allow for the 17 inch Pro Comp wheels with either 33 or 35 inch off-roading tires. The FJ Crawler was able to be customized in many ways with many optional accessories to achieve the customers satisfaction. For example, the FJ Crawler could be ordered in any factory color for the current model year. The customer could choose from 3 different wheel choices, 3 different tire choices, and could even choose the exact springs and shocks used in the Old Man Emu suspension to achieve the desired ride/performance quality. There was also the option of adding accessories such as a Warn winch, IFP driving lights which would be mounted to the ARB bumper, a fog light kit for the ARB bumper, and an ARB roof rack for storing gear and other items. Other options included a cat-back exhaust system, a high flow intake, as well as side steps. Also, because of aftermarket tire sizes, speedometer calibration was provided to ensure proper vehicle speed and mileage are recorded.
The FJ Crawler was only offered up to the 2010 model year where the limited edition package was then discontinued by DSI.
FJ-S Cruiser Concept
The FJ-S Cruiser Concept, debuted at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show in Las Vegas, NV, is the creation of Toyota and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) in an effort to create a new style of FJ Cruiser that from its looks, remains fairly similar, but is designed to be even more off-road ready than its standard FJ Cruiser counterparts. The FJ-S Cruiser Concept actually incorporates suspension components from the Baja Series Tacoma and has an upgraded chassis and body structure with the addition of an underbody "exoskeleton" to improve its off-road prowess. According to Toyota, the extra stiffness and strength provided by the exoskeleton creates a more suitable platform for the suspension modifications and wheel upgrades added, which include 60-mm Bilstein racing shocks up front and 50-mm Bilstein racing shocks with remote reservoirs in the rear which produce around 1.3" of lift over stock. Also, the FJ-S features all new TRD 17-inch beadlock-style wheels in a Midnight Black finish along with BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain tires. TRD also added their new supercharger with a Twin Vortex System and a large air-to-water intercooler, which brings the engine output to 345 horsepower and 345 lb/ft of torque, which is 30% and 25% of increase over the standard FJ Cruiser model. The exterior of the FJ-S Cruiser Concept received other changes/upgrades including a front nudge bar and the rock rails used on other FJ Cruiser variants. The color Toyota chose for this model is the Quicksand color, but unlike other FJ variants, they kept the white roof as opposed to doing a monochromatic color scheme. The interior of the FJ-S debuted an all-new two-tone leather seating with the FJ-S logos on the seatbacks along with custom floor mats.
Not much information has been released as far as the chassis and body structure changes go, and Toyota hasn't announced what they plan on doing with the FJ-S Cruiser Concept in the future. So whether or not it goes into production in a later year or if it remains a concept car is uncertain.
The FJ debuted to both criticism and acclaim from the automotive press. Critics appreciated Toyota's drive to bring such an aggressively styled and purpose driven vehicle to market at a time when the company was focused on more conservative designs. The FJ was universally praised for its off road performance with many reviewers also appreciating its on road manners, functional interior, and styling that paid homage to the original FJ40.
The FJ Cruiser was also criticized for its styling which created large blindspots, smaller than average cargo capacity, and cramped rear seating that was difficult to access. Toyota attempted to improve the blind spot issues by offering a rear back up camera starting with the 2009 model year and changed the hinge mechanisms on the front seats allowing passengers easier entry and exit from the rear starting with the 2011 model.
Sales of the FJ Cruiser were strong in the initial years from the initial exuberance surrounding the unique retro styling and performance offered by the FJ. However sales have waned from a high of 56,225 units sold in North America in 2006 to less than 15,000 units by 2010 partly from the increased competition in the compact SUV segment and poor fuel economy amidst rising gasoline prices and environmental concerns. Toyota hoped to rectify these concerns with an updated engine optimized to run on regular unleaded instead of premium with a slight boost in fuel economy for the 2010 model year.
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