Detroit Auto Show: Toyota Unveils FJ Cruiser Concept
DETROIT, Jan. 7, 2003; Toyota unveiled the FJ Cruiser concept
sport utility vehicle (SUV) at a press conference today at the 2003 North
American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
The FJ Cruiser concept was initiated and developed jointly by Toyota Motor
Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., and Calty Design Research, Toyota's North American
design center in Newport Beach, Calif. The FJ Cruiser was developed as a
basic, capable and affordable off-roader aimed to explore new possibilities
for a next-generation SUV aimed specifically at young buyers with active
"The FJ Cruiser is a thoroughly modern concept vehicle chiseled from
nearly a half-century tradition of rugged performance provided by the
legendary FJ 40, the original 4Runner and 4x4 compact pickups," said Jim
Press, executive vice president and COO for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A.,
Inc. "The FJ Cruiser concept effectively connects two growing markets in the
United States ... the light truck segment and the emerging youth market."
"The FJ Cruiser takes on an authentic functional form, yet adopts several
styling cues from the original FJ," said Jin Kim, the FJ Cruiser's 25-year-old
exterior designer. "Some of these cues are notable on the front end by its
wide and narrow grille, round headlights, and offset combination lamps.
Additional inspiration can be found through its upright windshield and
two-tone cap roof. Traits are also noticeable in the rear with wrapping rear
corner windows. The modern shape of the FJ Cruiser is woven into a compact
package. Its proportionately long wheelbase and wide track produce enhanced
stability and a powerful stance."
Utility features include spotlights on both outside mirrors, an
asymmetrical front spotlight, and a front-end towing winch. The rear glass
panel is a two-piece unit that retracts into the roof and the rear hatch for
easy access to the rear cargo area. Easy rear passenger entry into the
two-door SUV is achieved with rear access doors.
Power is supplied by a 3.4-liter V6 engine equipped with a Toyota Racing
Development (TRD) supercharger that creates 250-horsepower. The engine is
paired with a four-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive with low
range. The FJ Cruiser rides on a modified Tacoma pickup platform and is
equipped with rear coil-over long travel suspension, 20-inch wheels and
33-inch tires, and a TRD cat-back exhaust.
Calty designer William Chergosky extended the rugged and straightforward
theme to the interior. "The cabin is designed specifically for basic
functionality and flexible utility," said Chergosky.
"The structural beam instrument panel has a sophisticated, handcrafted
appearance. The faceplate with round inset instrumentation communicates
precision and ruggedness. The steering wheel and center-mounted shifter, and
attached look door panels feature tool-like simplicity with an industrial
feel. A portable remote GPS is removable for wilderness hiking."
All front and rear seats fold completely flat creating ample cargo space
and maximum usability. With no gaps and a durable floor covering, the FJ
Cruiser can be converted into a utility deck large enough for two people in
their sleeping bags.
"It is important for Toyota to raise the emotional pulse of the emerging
youth market," said Press. "The FJ Cruiser is a thoughtful approach to
versatility that allows the customer to decide how the vehicle fits into their
TOYOTA FJ CRUISER CONCEPT SPECIFICATIONS
Wheelbase 2700 106.3
Overall Length 4340 170.9
Overall Height 1828 72.0
Overall Width 1920 75.6
Tires ... 33 X 12.50 R20 inches