Toyota plans second heritage SUV. FJ Cruiser to get smaller CJ Cruiser sibling.
The compact five seat SUV, which is claimed to share the FJ’s purposeful appearance but in a slightly less rugged form in a bid to see it appeal more to female buyers, is based on the same underpinnings as the fourth-generation RAV4, codenamed XA40 and due out in 2012. Unlike the FJ, the new Toyota model is not only planned for sale in North America and China but will also be offered in many of the Japanese car maker’s existing world markets, including Europe.
Likely to take the name CJ Cruiser into production, the new Toyota has been conceived to offer a limited range of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines along with the choice of a manual or automatic transmission and standard four-wheel drive. A top-of-the-line V6 engine, Toyota’s 3.5-litre 2GR-FE unit, is also under discussion.
“We have been looking at such a vehicle for some time. An original proposal from former design boss Wahei Hirai that was constructed to 1:1 form was quite well received by the Toyota board. However, plans to place it into production were stalled by the global economic downturn. With the world’s economy now on the way back to health, we’re confident the market is ready for such a vehicle,” a Toyota employee with key knowledge of the new vehicle told TheAutoInsider.
At this early stage of development there is no clear indication where the CJ Cruiser will be produced. But with the existing RAV4 being built in no less than four plants (Tahara, Japan; Obu, Japan; Woodstock, Canada and Tianjin, China) there is plentiful capacity. The FJ, by comparison, is built at two sites: Hamua, Japan and Guangzhou, China.