If there’s one thing Toyota loves it’s reviving the chassis codes of past successes and making them full-blown model names. It did that with the FJ40-inspired FJ Cruiser back in 2007, then the AE86-inspired Toyota 86 in 2012. Now Toyota has trademarked the name “Land Cruiser FJ” in Japan. Could it be the spiritual successor of the FJ Cruiser?
Toyota has been hinting at a small but rugged SUV for some time now. It even teased what appeared to be a short wheelbase variant at the launch of the Land Cruiser 250 earlier this year (lead photo). There is much speculation that the Land Cruiser FJ trademark, as discovered by users of the Land Cruiser Forum, will be the name for such a vehicle.
Going by the looks of the silhouette in the teaser, it would be a two-door vehicle, similar in concept to the FJ40. Toyota has continued the tradition of short wheelbase Land Cruisers in the 70 and 90 series, though neither were sold in the US. This mini Land Cruiser is rumored to cast a smaller shadow than the Corolla Cross and come with two drivetrains, a hybrid 2.0-liter inline-four, and a fully electric variant. Whether it will be a unibody vehicle or a hard core ladder frame SUV is unknown.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that this car will come to fruition at all. But if it did, it would be a follow up to the FJ Cruiser, which only recently ended production after exiting the US market in 2014.