Concept vehicles are a great way for companies to show off outlandish features, exclusive aesthetics, and a bunch of other unique ideas that will likely frustrate drivers when they fail to make it into a production vehicle. Conversely, Toyota is looking to the past with a couple of its concepts — and it’s making us pine for one of off-roading’s golden ages.
One of them is the “FJ Bruiser,” a reworked 1966 FJ45 Land Cruiser Pickup complete with a custom tube chassis and roll cage that is then mated to the bodywork and custom frame. Where it really starts to get exciting is with the 725-horsepower 358 cubic inch NASCAR Cup Car powerplant V8 the company has included under the hood. That power may be needed to turn the 42-inch BF Goodrich Krawler T/A KX tires, which are connected and supported via full trailing arm suspension, Fox shocks, and Eibach springs. In short, this has some serious rock-crawling potential.
The nostalgia continues with a custom take on the classic 1967 FJ45 Land Cruiser Wagon. This particular vehicle, which was assembled back in 1999, is powered by a 4.7L, 32-valve DOHC V-8 engine. While that’s not exactly unique, the vehicle’s other features set it apart from the standard classic. The exhaust is made from stainless steel and designed to enhance the FJ45’s noise output. The frame has been lengthened, and the suspension modified to allow for 30% more wheel travel when compared to a stock Land Cruiser from the same era. While the exterior and technical components have been modified for outdoor performance, the interior has a luxury touch — with leather cladding on the seats and other quality-of-life components making their way in. This includes a satellite phone, a navigation system, and a 15-gallon water supply.
While the U.S. pickup market has been dominated by the likes of Ford, Dodge, and Chevrolet for decades, Toyota’s bed-bearing vehicles have a well-deserved reputation as some of the best on the planet. The Hilux has an air of sheer indestructibility about it, the Tundra looks like it can tackle any task you throw its way, and the X-Runner variant of the Tacoma has always been a solid sporty option.
Pickup enthusiasts will want to keep a particularly close eye close eye on the Toyota Tacoma X-Runner concept that the Japanese manufacturer is showing off. The concept has a few features that we hope we’ll see in production vehicles sometime in the near future. The 13.9-inch front brakes are cooled by a set of built-in vents — which is a huge help if you’re testing out the vehicle’s sporting credentials. With a modified i-FORCE 3.4-liter twin-turbocharged V6 providing the power (421 horses worth, to be exact), a robust braking system is certainly necessary. Its suspension system is also designed to keep the truck as low as possible, even under load. The A Tundra solid axle with an electronic locking differential should maximize performance on a wide array of surfaces if the asphalt just isn’t doing it for you. The X-Runner concept is built on, and a tribute to, the company’s TGNA-F global truck platform — something you may recognize from vehicles like the Land Cruiser.
If that still seems a little too basic for you, then cast your eyes toward the “Blue Beetle,” an eye-catching take on the Tacoma that has been built to promote the Warner Brothers movie of the same name. While the custom wrap may be the most obvious twist Toyota has made on the basic Tacoma, there’s a lot more going on below the vinyl. The truck’s superhero aesthetics are enhanced by a Toyota Genuine Exhaust tip that comes courtesy of Toyota’s Special Parts and Accessories Development team.
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