The Toyota FJ Cruiser started its life as a retro-inspired off-roader, but it’s ending it as a vehicle old enough to be retro in its own right.
Debuted in 2006, the car is finally being removed from sale in its last global market. Cars.co.za confirmed with Toyota the FJ Cruiser is no longer being produced in Hamura, Japan, signalling the end of its global run.
A spokesperson for Toyota South Africa said the end of the FJ is a global decision, not just for that market.
It was sold between 2011 and 2016 in Australia, and between 2007 and 2014 in the USA. Toyota sold more than 11,000 examples during its time Down Under.
Although the FJ Cruiser featured a retro design, it wasn’t a poser.
With 36-degree approach, 29-degree ramp-over, and 31-degree departure angles, 245mm of ground clearance, and a proper four-wheel drive system with a locking rear differential, the FJ was a weapon off the beaten track.
Power came from a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated V6 engine making 200kW and 380Nm, mated with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Although no successor is forthcoming, Toyota hasn’t farewelled the world of retro-inspired off-roaders just yet.
Although it hasn’t been confirmed for production, then-Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda described the 16 cars he revealed as the “showroom of the future” for Toyota and Lexus.
Designers for the concept took inspiration from the first LandCruiser, while the detailing has plenty in common with the retro-futuristic FJ Cruiser.
There’s also more than a hint of 70 Series about the shape of the LED running lights up front.
The oversized bash plates, black cladding, and roof-mounted snowboards are amped up design elements unlikely to carry over unchanged to production, but they will inform how the car that could eventually hit showrooms will look.