Toyota Australia confirmed it will add the rugged retro looks and solid off-road performance of the FJ Cruiser to its range early next year. A pre-production version of the sporty off-roader will make its local debut at the Australian International Motor Show in October with local sales expected to kick-off late in the first quarter of 2011.
FJ Cruiser will give Toyota a second brand-enhancing vehicle inside 12 months, following the launch of the eye-catching Rukus from June 1.
With looks like no other SUV, FJ Cruiser comes to Australia with a pedigree that stretches back 50 years to the legendary FJ40 LandCruiser. The modern vehicle captures this heritage with its body-on-frame structure, short wheelbase, stocky appearance and the arrangement of its headlights and grille. FJ Cruiser will be the only Toyota vehicle to use the name Toyota spelled out across the grille, instead of the corporate emblem. The vehicle’s retro-inspired styling is enhanced by the boxy shape, near-vertical windscreen with three wipers, white roof and wrap-around rear windows. Four doors provide access to two rows of seats. The front doors are standard size while the rear doors are smaller and are reverse-opening.
The FJ – equipped with a powerful engine, dual-range 4WD, excellent ground clearance and ample suspension articulation – will deliver the off-road prowess implied by its “Cruiser” badge. Toyota Australia’s senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said FJ Cruiser was all about style and substance.
“FJ Cruiser has loads of character that isn’t found in any other SUV, let alone one that is built for off-road terrain,” Mr Buttner said.
“It will be a lot of fun to own and drive, satisfying those who want a modern vehicle with the boulder-crawling spirit of Toyota’s legendary off-roaders,” he said.
In the United States, the FJ Cruiser has recently been awarded for its quality and its value. In the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Initial Quality Study, it was rated at the top of the Compact Crossover/SUV segment. FJ Cruiser was also named best-in-class for mid-size SUVs in the 2010 IntelliChoice.com Best Overall Values of the Year Awards.
Australian models will be produced in Japan. The Australian International Motor Show will be held in Sydney from October 15.