Electric FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser restomod runs on batteries, keeps original gearbox and good looks

Resto-modding a Toyota Land Cruiser is nothing new. People have been putting Tacoma V6es, J80 1FZs, or SBC in them for years, but a UK company is now building them to run solely on electric power. The outfit is called Inverted, and their builds are meticulously engineered to retain original look of the original Land Cruiser while delivering battery propulsion in style.

Inverted EV swaps out the original F-series straight-six for a 53 kWh battery good for 150 miles and an electric motor making 215 horsepower and and over 250 lb-ft of torque. Remarkably, they’ve kept the original transmission intact, which should make for a unique driving experience. Inverted says this setup allows for easy switching between 2WD and 4WD as well as high and low range.

However, as the Land Cruisers are custom-built, Inverted offers the option of a direct drive Tesla motor, which eliminates the transmission and converts the vehicle to a permanent AWD setup. This option generates 320 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, which Inverted claims can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 5.5 seconds, surely the quickest of any FJ40 out there.

The Inverted rigs are highly customizable, with customers getting their choice of colors for the exterior, interior, and canvas top. Door cards, floor mats, and center consoles can all be tailored to customer requests. The conversion can be done to any J40 body style as well, including the short-wheelbase FJ40, medium-wheelbase FJ43 and long-wheelbase FJ45, and pickup, soft-top or tin-top variants.

The rest of the hardware receives subtle modernization as well — four-wheel disc brakes, LED headlights, and an upgraded Old Man Emu or Terrain Tamer suspension. Bigger brakes are an option, but then the classic FJ40 wheels will no longer be compatible.

Cabin-wise, the Inverted promises to be a huge step up in terms of comfort, with heated front seats, USB charging ports, a modern sound system, Apple CarPlay, aircon, and a backup camera standard. A digital rear-view mirror, heated seats, and vehicle tracker are available as options.

Inverted got its start resto-modding Range Rover Classics in similar fashion. The Land Cruiser is their second model. Prices start at $245,000, but with such bespoke builds the sky’s the limit. With a 150-mile range we don’t know about how useful it will be in true off-road excursions, at least in the US. UK driving scenarios may differ. Still, a classic SUV never goes out of style, and the Inverted appears to be an excellent daily-driven EV.

Images: Inverted EV
via CarBuzz

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5 Responses to Electric FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser restomod runs on batteries, keeps original gearbox and good looks

  1. Azfer says:

    How does an EV work with a manual transmission? What am I missing here?

    • j_c says:

      The electric motor just replaces the engine. A flywheel, clutch, and bellhousing adapter are bolted to the end so it mates to the gearbox. Gears don’t need to be shifted, just leave it in 3rd or 4th and the motor should have enough torque to move it from there.

      This simplifies the conversion since only mounts need to be made for the motor and batteries.

    • Franxou says:

      j_c is right that for this kind of swap, the driver mostly use only one gear and let the EV motor’ flat torque do the work.
      My guess is that Inverted made it this way in order to keep the transfer box, and to let the driver swap between 4 Lo, 4 Hi and 2WD.

  2. 22blades says:

    Great mod. I would be hesitant to put that much (Tesla) power/torque into an old chassis design though. Mostly for handling, real use application off road & even some structural issues. When I stuffed a 1.6l/16v in my Samurai, it was actually on the edge of too much in real life. Would love an eSamurai or hybrid

  3. Yewnos100 says:

    Electric power is pointless on anything but a tiny city car. Sure, the range might be getting closer to what the traditional ICE cars can do, but you can’t exactly store those volts in a jerry can to “refuel” anywhere you want.

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