I saw the Toyota "FJ Cruiser" prototype at the autoshow here in Atlanta, and must say it was damn cool cept for two things-needs a solid front axle a la 80 series, and a removable top and Toyota would have it made.
something TJ sized, with lockers and solid axles would be a hit. i did see that concept car, i believe it was light blue? That is one segment of the auto marketplace that Jeep just owns (for new production, that is).
I think us Yanks can pretty much forget about the days when Toyota considered our market worthy of a solid front axle :'( There's just not enough demand for it here and they are quite content to sale the current "mall abomination" to wanna be's, yuppies and soccer mom's hand over fist. And any body that tells you any different is lying. Would you wanna thrash a 50 thousand dollar Cruiser on the trail? If we do get a new FJ it will be some Design Studio's interpretation of a classic that no one knows about. Meaning it will be a regurgitated Taco simply made to excite the souls of somebody that believes if you have a rugged looking car you must be rugged. Look at the "suckcess" of the H2. They will not lose money on a truck that is sold simply to supplicate the enthusiast's. Would I pimp the new FJ? Only if they 86 the IFS and that's not likely...
Just my .02
I bought mine new and the piece of paper on the window said $40,640.00
Then I proceeded to "poor" a bit more into it, so to speak.
I gotta be close to 50 G's, I'm too scared to add it up :ugh: . It gets spanked on the trail quite regular, thanks. If it wasn't for a bit of critically useful help from Robbie once, I would have laid it on it's side. They don't all "Mall"...........Dan
I hear what you guys are sayin' and sure, it would be great if they'd produce a solid axle 'cruiser replacement. But before you go and lump every potential buyer into the wheelin' or mall categories, consider that there are many (like myself) who fall in between -I may not go bouldering with my 80 but I do use it off road, mostly on "jeep" trails and logging roads around and to my camp in the white mountains. I/we want a vehicle that is capable in moderately difficult terrain. It does not need have the ground clearance of an arctic cruiser. The VW Toureg is reasonably capable but is still too soft /luxo for me. It is also too small. I think that FJ40 proto-type (light blue) is REALLY sweet. I'd buy it if it cam e with optional lockers and they don't soften it up too much -love the painted metal interior!
I'm with Mudslinger. I tend not to be too hardcore, but like being able to handle whatever gets thrown my way. A slightly modified 100 series would likely be able to tackle the trails that I run with no problem. I do like the solid axle up front, but it probably isn't necessary for my wussiness.
Seeing as I am a student, I will not be trading up anytime soon. I will be sticking with the 80 for quite awhile, and if I do anything it will be to downgrade to an econobox to save money. That although is highly unlikely.
The ultimate ride would be a 2003 80 out of Venezuela. Yum!
And Nick hit the nail on the head, that the fraction of people who wheel their SUV's is infinitessimal. After all, Toyota is a business merely trying to make a profit by meeting current market demand. If everyone all the sudden stopped buying luxury SUV's and demanded live front axles, they'd probably do that. It's just too bad that they don't offer, say, the 100 series in differently equipped variations, like the 105, but there is no large scale demand for one in this market. Companies that need to ferry customers on dirt roads (eg, hot air balloon or river rafting company) use Suburbans/Excursions. Part of the problem, I think, is the US market is so large now, that Toyota can afford to make vehicles for N. American tastes. Back in the 70's and early 80's when their share of the market was much smaller, it was easier to just import vehicles sold in other foreign markets (then came the import quotas...).
Interestingly enough, I noticed that LC sales comprise about 40% of Araco's annual revenues.
Legally I own a 70. Just happens to be in Bermuda though and not in NJ. :tear: They are nice, but after wheeling with a buddy of mine several times over the last 2 years in his BJ70, I still believe the 80 is far superior. I'd love a 70 for the dd though.
Man, that powder blue 'new 40' is UGLY! The engineers left and the janitor snuck in and finished the plans or something-
There was a red variant of the concept that looked OK, Spector had a picture on their website a few years ago. But it would probably be at least $30 or so new, so it'd stay on pavement for the first 7 yrs. or so....
The new FJ Cruiser is supposed to be rugged and versitile inside. Seats fold flat for camping. It's built on an existing platform. I bet they try to place it in the $20-30 range. I doubt highly it will be marketed as a Cruiser. That would confuse American's brand imaging, something that the Cadillac Cimmiron has burned into every Marketing student's brain. If you put an upscale name on a cheaper vehicle you damage both the vehicle and the name. I suspect it will be a Toyota or a Scion. At least in the US.
The Cimmiron didn't work becuse it was a piece of chit. That being said everything now is platformed based. Why build 15 different chassis when you can have 10 global one's? I hate the fact that that is the way the Auto industry is headed. Everything is a comprimise in an effort to maximize the bottom line. I can't see how Toyota could possibly try to sell that "thing" as a Scion though. That brand has been relugated to the youth of today. And I don't think for the most part they know what the hell an FJ40 is. If there going to pimp something that fugly than there has to be brand image. I bet it's placed near the top of the line pointed more towards the 40 somethings.