Toyota May Build a Land Cruiser Homage That’s Also Part Van

If the TJ Cruiser reaches production and matches the concept version, it could be part-SUV, part-van—and entirely awesome.

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Once upon a time, Toyota  of the FJ Cruiser, a nostalgic homage to the iconic FJ40 Land Cruiser. That model ended production in 2014, but we finally might be getting a sturdy successor to that vehicle, and it’s also a super-practical van.

Reports from Japan translated by Jalopnik suggest a concept car called the TJ Cruiser will make it to production, and that Toyota could unveil the production version at the Tokyo Auto Show in October.

Toyota debuted the TJ Cruiser concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.  It was ostensibly a mid-size SUV shaped like a boxy van. A 108-inch wheelbase made it about two inches shorter than a 4Runner. (Per Toyota marketing, the T stood for “toolbox,” and the J stood for “joy.”) The production-spec TJ Cruiser will reportedly be an AWD hybrid and seat either five or seven passengers, instead of the concept TJ’s four.

The TJ Cruiser’s most distinctive feature was versatile fold-flat seats that could accommodate different combinations of people and gear. Folding the front passenger seat could offer about nine feet of length — enough to hold surfboards.  More compact and cost-effective than the Toyota overlanding campervan, such a rig would be perfect for outdoorsy types or young families.

One downside? The reports also suggest the TJ Cruiser might be a limited production run, with only 1,500 per month being made — which may mean it’s not bound for the U.S. market. But the TJ Cruiser would reportedly use Toyota’s global TNGA platform, which would make scaling up for international production easier. As with the factory manual edition of the Supra, a U.S. market TJ Cruiser may require relentless campaigning.

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