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Toyota FJ Cruiser

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FJ Cruiser
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Wikipedia: Toyota FJ Cruiser

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A retro-styled SUV produced by Toyota beginning in 2006.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Toyota FJ Cruiser page on 14 September 2019, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is a retro style, mid-size SUV. 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 was built by Toyota subsidiary Hino Motors in Hamura, Japan since 2006 and shares many structural underpinnings with the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. The FJ Cruiser entered the Japanese market on 4 December 2010, announced on 25 November in that year.

On 5 November 2013, Toyota USA 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 in that market. It continued to be made for sale in other markets such as Australia until its export to that market was discontinued in August 2016. It is still sold in the Middle East as of August 2019.

The "Final Edition" of the FJ Cruiser went on sale in Japan on 12 September 2017. Sales of the FJ Cruiser were discontinued there on 31 January 2018.

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's product planner Dave Danzer and 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 Bandeirantes, an FJ40-based vehicle, which was still in production in Brazil (as a diesel model only) at the time; the Bandeirante was discontinued in 2001. Toyoda returned to Japan to join the board of directors giving a high level support to the project. Toyota's flagship design studio, Calty, was then brought in 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 the 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, which 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 been for Ford.

In the summer of 2004, Toyota began extensive offroad 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 Mojave Desert, and the 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 offroad 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 Chicago 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.


Photographs

2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser 2012
2012 New York International Auto Show
Photo courtesy Parts.OlatheToyota.com
View photo of 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser - 294KB


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
14 February 2006Retro Rides, Part 3:  FJ CruiserBill Crittenden
15 September 20092009 Toyota FJ Cruiser: Rugged And RetroJames Flammang


Documents

DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
21 December 2007Safety Compliance Testing for FMVSS 201: Occupant Protection in Interior Impact, Upper Interior Head Impact Protection
2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser, 4-Door SUV
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 4.4MB - 154 pages
February 2010On-Site Rollover Investigation
2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 953KB - 18 pages
August 2010On-Site Rollover Investigation
Vehicle - 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 812KB - 16 pages
report date 16 March 2011NHTSA Recall 11V185000
2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser, 2009-2011 Toyota Tundra
TIRES:PRESSURE MONITORING AND REGULATING SYSTEMS
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page


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