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Toyota Moves Forward With Unveiling of All-New FJ Cruiser Sport Utility Vehicle at 2005 Chicago Auto Show
by: Jenny McLane
Last February 9, 2005, Toyota Unveiled an all new sport utility vehicle (SUV), the FJ Cruiser. Because of the excellent response and interest generated when the FJ Cruiser Concept was presented two years ago, Toyota decided to launch a production version of the SUV. The all-new production model retains much of the design details of the original concept.
Don Esmond, senior vice president and general manager, Toyota Division said "The FJ Cruiser effectively fills a gap in the Toyota lineup which was once our core heritage - capable, affordable and durable vehicles that are youthful, fun-to-drive, aggressive and tough," He also further clarified that "The FJ Cruiser will deliver true off-road ruggedness, image and performance at a very low price, making it highly accessible for a large volume of young buyers."
The FJ Cruiser's final production design was a joint project by Toyota Motor Corporation and Calty Design Research. They developed the original concept vehicle shown at the North American International Auto Show of 2003. Inspired by the legendary off-road performance provided by the iconic FJ 40, the original 4Runner, and the 4x4 compact pickups, the FJ Cruiser is envisioned as a basic, capable and affordable off-roader aimed specifically at young buyers with active outdoor lifestyles.
The new FJ Cruiser has an authentic, functional form, yet adopts several styling elements with the original FJ 40. A number of these styling cues are visible upfront, such as the wide grill with "Toyota" logo badging, round headlights, and offset combination lamps. Other styling hints include the upright windshield and white cap roof. The rear also displays inspiration from the original FJ 40 with wrapping rear corner windows. The FJ Cruiser also has a modern shape that is woven into a compact package set on a wide track, producing enhanced stability and powerful stance. Utility features include a two-part rear hatch with flip-up glass, black overfenders with mudguards, and silver painted bumper extenders, mirrors, door handles and skid plate. Easy rear passenger entry into the two-door SUV is achieved with rear access doors.
Power is supplied by a 4.0-liter V6 engine, generating 245 horsepower and 282 lb-ft. of torque. The engine is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission on both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations and an available six-speed manual on 4x4 models. The five-passenger FJ Cruiser rides on a modified 4Runner platform and features 17-inch steel wheels and four-wheel disc brakes. Just like all of the SUV'?s in Toyota's line-up, the FJ Cruiser will be equipped with the Star Safety System which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and traction control (TRAC), an anti-lock brake system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and brake assist as standard. All 4x2 models will come with a standard automatic limited slip differential (ALSD).
The tough and straightforward theme of the FJ Cruiser is extended to the interior with a cabin designed specifically for basic functionality and flexible utility. The instrument panel features an exterior color trim, adding to its sophisticated, handcrafted appearance. The faceplate with round inset instrumentation communicates a mechanical appearance. The steering wheel and center-mounted shifter, and attached-look door panels feature tool-like simplicity. The rear seats fold flat, creating ample cargo space and maximum usability.
The interior will be equipped with an array of standard convenience features including air conditioning, AM/FM CD audio with six speakers, tilt steering wheel, four cupholders, passenger seat back pocket, and an upper dash-mounted map/glove box.
The new FJ Cruiser is Toyota's response to today's need for an efficient vehicle that is a product of Toyota's renowned heritage of safety and refinement. With this new SUV, Toyota hopes to address the vehicle requirements of today's active lifestyle. Another way to keep up with today's dynamic lifestyle is to keep the FJ Cruiser or any Toyota vehicle in excellent condition. Maintaining such vehicles is easy using the best parts and accessories. Now, finding these parts and accessories is as easy as a few clicks. For instance, you can visit http://www.partstrain.com/ShopByVehicle/TOYOTA, a leading online store for Toyota parts and accessories. With their proven reputation in the business, you will never regret purchasing Toyota parts from them.
About The Author
Jenny McLane is a 36 year old native of Iowa and has a knack for research on cars and anything and everything about it. She works full time as a Market Analyst for one of the leading car parts suppliers in the country today.