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FJ Cruiser
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  Toyota FJ Cruiser

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Country of origin:Japan
Introduced in:2006
Introduced at:2006 LA Auto Show
Source:Company press release
Last updated:January 02, 2006
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Click here to download printer friendly versionToyota advances both the art and science of the off-road vehicle while recalling its own off-road heritage with the introduction of the 2007 FJ Cruiser sport-utility vehicle (SUV), available in March 2006.

The FJ Cruiser offers a youthful, contemporary spirit and employs the same state-of-the-art comfort, power, economy, safety, emissions and convenience technology available in other Toyota vehicles. As it does so, it provides optimized off-road capabilities, value and styling clues reminiscent of Toyota's famed FJ40 4x4 utility vehicle, sold in the U.S. from 1960 to 1983. The FJ40, which during its production life served around the world as the safari and expedition vehicle of choice, remains a desirable and collectable off-road vehicle.

The five-passenger FJ Cruiser was designed as a concept vehicle at Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif. It was first seen at Detroit's North American International Automobile Show in 2003. Public and media reaction to the FJ Cruiser concept was so positive that the vehicle was slated for production using most of the same design parameters as the original concept. As an indicator of the vehicle's unmistakable family DNA, several of the FJ Cruiser's available color choices are reminiscent of the colors found on FJ40s.

The FJ Cruiser's tough, wide stance is based around a frame and front-and-rear suspension systems adapted from those found on the 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. Independent front suspension, which offers a generous 7.87 inches of wheel travel for outstanding suspension articulation, is via double wishbones, the geometry of which is adapted for superior road feel and ride comfort. Tubular shock absorbers and an anti-sway bar also are employed.

The FJ Cruiser is powered by a high-compression 4.0L (242.1 c.i.) V6 engine, a 24-valve, double-overhead-cam (DOHC) unit that produces 239 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque - nearly double the numbers produced by the six-cylinder engine of the FJ40. Many special engineering touches help make this engine a model of efficiency, power and smoothness. These include Toyota's Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) system; special lightweight pistons with resin-coated skirts to help reduce friction and noise; a two-stage, variable-length intake manifold, which improves mid-range to high-speed performance; newly designed 12-orifice fuel injectors; Toyota's Direct Ignition System (DIS), which eliminates the distributor and its associated wiring; and a lightweight electronic throttle. The EPA lists the FJ Cruiser's city/highway fuel-economy ratings at 18/22 mpg (4x2) and 17/21 mpg (4x4 automatic).

The FJ Cruiser's interior features a dash that is bordered by upper and lower tubular forms, which frame rectangular-shaped flat panels. Control knobs are large enough to provide easy grip, even when wearing gloves, and switches for critical functions, including HVAC, audio controls and the optional locking rear differential, are mounted in the center dash panel within easy reach of the driver. With the optional upgrade packages, the front interior door panels are color-keyed to the exterior color. A standard full gauge package, including speedometer, tachometer, amp meter, temperature gauge and fuel gauge, uses round, black-on-white dials and gauges for enhanced visibility. Warning lights monitor other functions, and an oil-maintenance indicator notifies the driver when the FJ Cruiser's engine oil is due to be changed.

Design features that hint at the FJ Cruiser's heritage are its 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. Additionally, the FJ Cruiser employs a white roof cap and wrap-around rear side windows, which were FJ40 signatures. The FJ Cruiser uses two main doors - one per side - but unlike anything ever seen on an FJ40, it also uses two 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. This opens independently of the rear door and helps accommodate longer items such as lumber or surfboards while keeping the rear door closed.

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  Article Image gallery (12) Specifications User Comments (1)