Toyota Builds a Jeep for the 2023 SEMA Show
It’s 2023 SEMA Show time, and in Toyota’s booth is the “FJ Bruiser,” looking every bit like a Jeep. Other than missing the classic Jeep grille, doesn’t it look like a modded post-war Willys-Overland pickup truck? You may or may not agree. But whatever you call it, the FJ Bruiser is an off-road monster, as you’ll soon discover.
How does the FJ Bruiser track system work?
While we’ll get to the rest of the FJ Bruiser in a moment, we’d like to focus on the undercarriage first. For starters, there is a rubber tank track system that literally powers you off of any high-center debacle. Aiding the track are thick plastic runners on either side.
Here’s what Toyota says about it, “Should ground clearance ever become an issue, the team replaced the center skid plate with a tank-like track system that can be used to power out of any high-center situation. The CAMSO® track is controlled from the cockpit, so the driver can stay securely seated; no need to unstrap and find something to tie off the winch. Tank mode can be activated with the push of a button.”
The front and rear Currie axles get triangulated four-link suspensions, with monstrous coilover shocks featuring Eibach springs around Fox shocks. They’re visible from around the 42-inch tall BF Goodrich Krawler T/A KX off-road tires. And they also peek through the hood. At full travel, the tires surrounding the 20-inch Method Double Standard beadlock wheels reach halfway up the windshield. There is much more to the suspension, but overall, doesn’t this look like the ultimate rock crawler?
How much power does the FJ Bruiser have?
Under the hood is a TRD 358 ci, 5.9-liter, 725 hp NASCAR V8. This gives the FJ Bruiser still more tools for rock-crawling escapades. Backing the engine is a three-speed automatic transmission and an Atlas transfer case. It’s capable of offering four two-wheel drive speeds and four four-wheel drive speeds. That means it can climb at 12 mph but has a top speed of 165 mph.
What did the build start with?
The project’s starting point was a 1966 FJ45 pickup. The body and components all rest on a complete custom tube chassis with fabrication done at Toyota’s Motorsports Garage. Turquoise custom paintwork is by Complete Customs in Texas. Inside there are two Momo Daytona Evo seats in plaid material Toyota says is similar to that in the original FJ.
Toyota also brought another retro Land Cruiser build. But we’re shaking our heads over the appearance and custom fabrication of the FJ Bruiser. Even if it looks like a Jeep at first glance.