The Toyota FJ Cruiser, which melds the brand's off-road legacy with distinct heritage design in a modern SUV, gains standard front seat-mounted side airbags and first- and second-row side curtain airbags for 2008. A new, optional Off-Road Package further bolster's FJ Cruiser's already impressive capability.
With styling cues reminiscent of Toyota's famed FJ40 4x4 utility vehicle, sold in the U.S. from 1960 to 1983, the FJ Cruiser offers a youthful, contemporary spirit and employs the same state-of-the-art, power, comfort, safety, and convenience technology available in all Toyota SUVs. The original FJ40, which during its production life served around the world as the safari and expedition vehicle of choice, is today a sought-after collectable.
The newly optional Off-Road Package prepares the 2008 FJ Cruiser for demanding off-pavement excursions and includes unique 16-inch alloy wheels with 265/75R16 BFG Rugged Trail tires, trail-tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, a cyclone pre-air cleaner, and a rear differential lock that works in conjunction with the active traction control (A-TRAC) system.
"The FJ Cruiser is one of the most serious off-road capable SUVs available today, yet it delivers all the quality and value expected from any Toyota and is suitably refined for everyday driving," said Jim Lentz, Toyota Motor Sales executive vice president.
The five-passenger FJ Cruiser was initially designed as a concept vehicle at Toyota's Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif. Heritage design features include the front grille, which ties its two round, five-inch headlights together in much the same way the FJ40's headlights and grille were integrated; its hood and fender contours; and a rear-mounted and exposed full-size spare tire with an off-center license-plate-mounting location.
Color choices for the FJ Cruiser include Titanium Metallic, Black Diamond, Sun Fusion, Voodoo Blue and the all-new, Brick Red and Sandstorm Metallic. The white roof cap and wrap-around rear side windows were FJ40 signature design features.
Chassis and Suspension
The FJ Cruiser's tough, wide stance is based around a frame and front-and-rear suspension systems adapted from those found on the Toyota 120-Series Prado (Land Cruiser Prado in some markets). The frame is a boxed steel ladder-braced unit to which is mounted the FJ Cruiser's welded steel body. Double-wishbone independent front suspension offers 7.87 inches of wheel travel for outstanding suspension articulation. Its geometry is adapted for excellent road feel and ride comfort.
The solid rear axle uses a four-link coil-spring suspension system with a lateral rod, tubular shock absorbers, and an anti-sway bar. This system provides 9.1 inches of wheel travel. The disc-brake system uses ventilated 12.6-inch front and 12.3-inch rear rotors.
FJ Cruiser employs a variable-ratio, hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion steering system. Standard wheels are 17-inch steel, with 17-inch, six-spoke aluminum wheels available as an option. The Off-Road Package uses 16-inch five-spoke alloys and taller-profile rugged trail tires. With the FJ Cruiser's standard 32-inch tires, ground clearance is 9.6 inches (8.7 inches for 4x2 models). Approach and departure angles are 34 degrees/30 degrees for the 4x4 FJ Cruiser and 32/29 for the 4x2 version. Maximum towing capacity with the optional Class Four receiver hitch is 5,000 pounds.
Stylish and Functional
Unlike anything ever seen on the classic FJ40, the FJ Cruiser uses side access doors that open 90 degrees in clamshell fashion for easy rear-seat ingress and egress. Additionally, a swing-up glass hatch is incorporated into the side-hinged rear door. The glass hatch opens independently of the rear door and helps accommodate longer items such as lumber or surfboards.
The angular wheel arches open to provide maximum clearance for the FJ Cruiser's large 32-inch tires at full suspension deflection. The arches are edged by flexible fender flares that resist damage during vigorous off-road driving and also resist damage from the opening doors of other parked vehicles.