TOYOTA unveiled FJ Bruiser concept based on 1966 LAND CRUISER FJ45 at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas

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On 31 October 2023, following the return of the Land Cruiser to the US market, TOYOTA unveiled the FJ Bruiser concept car, based on the 1966 LAND CRUISER FJ45 pick-up truck, which was displayed at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) in Las Vegas.

Paying homage to the Land Cruiser’s roots and combining its legacy with modern off-road technology, Toyota’s FJ Bruiser concept revives nostalgia and embodies the ‘go-anywhere spirit’. Built around the concept of ‘The Unstoppable FJ’, which could go virtually anywhere, the vehicle was so beastly by the time it was finished that the production team dubbed it the ‘FJ Bruiser’.

The powertrain includes a TRD 358 (5,866 cc) V8 engine, a modified version of the NASCAR® Cup car powerplant that produces up to 725 hp, and a race-built Rancho Drivetrain Engineering® 3 speed automatic transmission and a MagnaFlow® exhaust for the engine’s intimidating exhaust note.

It is also equipped with solid axles and the driveline features Currie® differentials front and rear and an Advanced Adapter Atlas® transfer case. This drivetrain set-up allows for low speeds of 12 mph (19 km/h) in the lowest gear at 7,000 rpm and high speeds of 165 mph (265 km/h) in the highest gear at the same 7,000 rpm.

In case ground clearance becomes an issue, the vehicle is equipped with a CAMSO® track system, like a caterpillar, on the centre skid plate section. This track can be controlled from the cockpit, so the driver remains firmly seated and does not have to remove straps or look for something to tie down the winch. Tank mode is activated at the push of a button.

And in order to create functional bodywork while maintaining the classic FJ lines, the space-constrained chassis had to incorporate modern technology to overcome the terrain. So a full-tube chassis and roll cage were fabricated, and the body was combined with a rigid new custom frame. Next, a full trailing arm suspension with Fox® shocks and Eibach® springs was added, and 42-inch BF Goodrich® Krawler T/A KX tyres were mounted on 20-inch Method® Beadlock wheels.

The interior was finished by Complete Customs® and fitted with MOMO® Daytona EVO bucket seats, changed to a paint scheme coloured plaid as a tribute to the original FJ plaid bench seats, and a vintage RACING HERITAGE 1968 steering wheel inspired by MOMO’s Jackie Stewart model.

The project, which started with a worn-out 1966 FJ45 pick-up, combined modern automotive technology with the classic looks of the FJ45 to create a one-of-a-kind vehicle worthy of its name and a concept car ready to conquer some of the world’s toughest terrain.