There’s really no arguing that the Toyota FJ45 Land Cruiser pickup is an off-road classic. Just looking at one, you can tell that it is more than capable of holding its own on a trail. What would that generation of Land Cruiser look like if it was fitted with modern off road tech and a NASCAR V8? Wonder no more as a skunkworks team at Toyota has done just that with a SEMA concept vehicle they’ve dubbed the FJ Bruiser.
Toyota’s TRD team in Southern California managed to get their hands on an FJ45 as the basis for the concept. From there, the team started with an all new driveline. The project’s only stipulation was that it be “unstoppable”
Underbody damage should never be an issue. If the Bruiser somehow got stuck on the trail, getting it out wouldn’t be an issue, either. The team fitted the underbody with a tank-like track system from CASMO that can be controlled by the driver. At the flick of a switch the track powers up and would help the Bruiser if it ever managed to get high-sided.
One hard part for the design team was trying to maintain the classic design of the FJ while implementing functional, modern off road tech all within minimal space to work. That required a new custom, rigid frame along with a full tube chassis and complete roll cage. A tough trailing arm suspension was fitted along with Fox shocks and Eibach springs. All four corners were got huge 42-inch BF Goodrich Krawler T/A KX tires mounted to 20-inch Method beadlock wheels.
Inside the interior got MOMO Daytona EVO seats covered in a plaid design that pays tribute to the original FJ’s bench seat and a MOMO Jackie Stewart championship steering wheel from 1968.
While all those off-road pieces are great, none of it would mean a thing without an engine. And the FJ Bruiser has one hell of an engine, a lightly modified 358 cu-in. V8 from a NASCAR Cup Car. It makes a massive 725 horsepower and a lot of noise through a Magnaflow exhaust system.
It all makes for a great SEMA concept. As Toyota’s vice president of marketing Mike Tripp described: “It’s a reminder of what Land Cruiser has always been; a vehicle built to take you as far as your imagination will allow.”
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