The SEMA or Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas isn’t just for people like exhaust manufacturers and body kit companies to plug their wares. It also provides a chance for major OEMs to really let their hair down, creating things like this FJ Bruiser.
Yes, this is an official project from Toyota itself, based on a FJ40 Land Cruiser. Well, based loosely - it doesn’t look like there’s much left of the original, “well-worn” donor car. The creation features new bodywork designed to follow “the classic FJ lines” mounted on a custom frame.
There’s also new trailing arm suspension with Fox dampers and Eibach springs to accommodate the new footwear, comprising 20-inch beadlock wheels shod in monstrous 42-inch BF Goodrich tyres. At full compression, the new chassis setup will put the tyres “about halfway up the windshield line,” Toyota says. Crikey.
Toyota also notes that the FJ Bruiser has been built to be “unstoppable,” which is why there are beefy Currie differentials at each end of the vehicle, and an Advanced Adapter Atlas transfer case with four speeds each for two-wheel and four-wheel drive settings. In the lowest gear, you can have the engine roaring away at 7,000rpm while the FJ Bruiser is cruising along at just 12mph.
On the subject of the powerplant, that’s something rather special. It’s a 358 cubic-inch (that’s 5.86 litres, for those of us on the metric system) V8 borrowed from Toyota Racing Development in California. Normally, it powers the TRD NASCAR Cup Car, and here, it provides 715bhp to the wheels via a three-speed automatic race transmission. A MagnaFlow exhaust system delivers an apparently “intimidating exhaust note,” which we can believe.
The cabin has been overhauled with plaid trim, Momo seats, and - believe it or not - a steering wheel taken from Jackie Stewart’s 1968 F1 championship-winning Matra MS10.
The FJ Bruiser is on display now at the SEMA show, along with various other Toyota exhibits.