FJ CRUISER – Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed

[car engine revving] – You want a super capable
dead nuts, reliable froader but Jeeps just ain’t your thing, and Land Rovers break down to
much gosh darn dangin much? [car crashing] From mid-century military outposts, to modern suburban driveways, this rough and tumble froader from the land of the rising sun fits in just about err’where. Few competitors can match its go anywhere, do anything attitude. This is everything you need to know to get up to speed on
the Toyota FJ Cruiser. [electronic music] Before we get into the show, I just wanna give a big old
shout out to our partners over at Nos Energy Drink. Our editors thank you. This puppy, he thanks you. [can opens] [slurping] Ahh, yeah. Nos Energy Drink gives me that [siren]. Other energy drinks are like, oh, well, is that it, where’d all my energy go? But Nos Energy Drink is like [whooping] I can do that! You wanna rebuild your engine? No problem! You wanna get back together
with the ex-girlfriend? [whistles] Sorry but, that’s
probably not gonna happen. You can still enjoy an ice
cold Nos Energy Drink though. [slurps] Ahh. Now back to the story. The FJ helped propel- fitness water- Toyota to the top and
made them a household name around the world. – FJ, FJ, FJ, FJ. – Nowadays you see FJ’s cranking tunes and blasting dunes. But originally, they were made for war. And it all started with a Willy and a BJ. During World War II the Japanese military got their hands on the
Willys Jeep and tasked Toyota with making a better
version of the lightweight, go anywhere vehicle of the U.S. Military. Toyota created the AK Series and they were impressive little froaders. But they didn’t turn the tides of battle so Japan ultimately lost the war. This is why they lost the
war, and the only reason that they lost the war, Donut Fact. Toyota got another chance to update the AK a few years later in the Korean War. This time, it was the U.S. Military who ordered the company
to build them some Jeeps. So, they took what they
learned from the Willys and the AK and gave the U.S. a BJ. They created a vehicle
known as the Toyota Jeep BJ, which technical director,
Hanji Umehara, later named the Land Cruiser. The BJ was bigger than the Willys and faster thanks to a 3.4
liter inline 6 power plant. While Toyota was 0 for 2
in the military campaigns, they learned a crap-ton about
building all-terrain vehicles. In 1955, Toyota released
the second-gen Land Cruiser which featured a fully redesigned 3.9 liter, inline 6, F-series engine. These were known for their
high amount of torque and low RPM, massive cast
iron blocks and heads and crazy good reliability. And in 1960 it was this
engine that gave birth to one of the most iconic
Toyotas of all time, the FJ-40. Now the FJ-40 not only conquered the jungles, mountains,
and deserts of the world, it literally made Toyota a global brand. [barks] Sorry excuse me guys. What’s up? Are you bored? Yeah, you wanna go home? Okay. This is our editor Colby’s
dog and he’s done. [laughs] This is an easy time to remind you guys to hit that like button and
hit that subscribe button. It’s the only way that we can tell if we’re doing a good job. Uh also if you don’t, I’ll eat this dog. Back to the story. In fact, the FJ-40 was so popular that they sold them for 40 years. And Toyota, till this day, still makes new replacement parts for the FJ-40. The FJ-40 has a really, really cool story. We actually made another video about it. It’s the Land Cruiser. So, if the FJ eventually
turned into the Land Cruiser, we know today, where did the
new FJ Cruiser come from? Well friends, it started out as a concept that was never meant to be built. The new FJ Cruiser AK XJ-10 made its de-but as a concept only vehicle during the 2003 Detroit Auto Show. And the voodoo blue retro
off-roader quickly cast a spell on those longing for the good ol’ days. While modern Land Cruisers were
still super badass off-road, [engine roaring] they’d become 3-row behemoth made for transporting drug
lords through South America, war lords through Africa, and soccer moms to H&M at the mall. The old school Land Cruisers
like the iconic FJ-40 were way more utilitarian. The torque-y, lightweight
vehicles could go almost anywhere and really gave Jeep,
their main competitor, a run for their money. [engine roaring] Plus, they look freaking cool which young people loved back then. I might be 34 but I’m just like you kids. The FJ concept was born out
of the internally labeled RYU, or rugged youth utility, design team. [sighs] Because nothing gets the kids going like an internal design code. – What do they want, what do they want? – I don’t know. Let’s make a big old team of
old guys to figure it out. – Oh yeah, that sounds good. Let’s get a big old team of old guys, they can figure out what the kids want. [laughs] – The mid-2000s were a bingo haul beige group of years for Toyota. Their business model had gone totally conservative and boring. They got rid of all the
small, fun enthusiast cars like the Supra and the Celica. [Rap Music] And Toyota had no plans to
actually produce the FJ concept, they just wanted people to
think that they were trying. To their surprise, the reception for both the media and the general public was so overwhelmingly positive, that they had to go full Oprah on it- – You get a car, you get a car, you get a car, you get a car. – and fast track the FJ into production. So with no production plan in place, chief engineer, Akio Nishimura, was given the almost
impossible task of developing an FJ that could roll into
show rooms in just 3 years. Normally, car development takes anywhere from like 7 to 11 years. And even though he was
like, this is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy,
the dude made it happen, so props for that. The 2007 model year FJ was based on a stretched Land Cruiser Prado box frame. It was powered by the
bulletproof 1 GR-FE engine, which was an aluminum 4-liter
V6, good for 239 horsepowers. The engine was later upgraded with VVT-I which gave it an additional, respectable, 20 horsepowers. [engine roaring] This was paired with your choice of a 5-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual. It was offered in either
2 or 4-wheel drive option. [laughing] But it wasn’t until you got past the drivetrain and underpinnings that the real beauty of the FJ came out. First and foremost, it was designed to be utilitarian like the FJ-40
Land Cruisers of the ’60s. This was achieved in 2 ways: The first being, tremendous
off-road capability. [engine roaring] And the second being, unusual exterior and
interior design elements. Toyota claimed that the 4×4 version, which was the one that everybody bought, was the most capable off-road
vehicle in their lineup. And they have a pretty
dec’ off-road lineup. It can drive through
water up to 27.5 inches. It had an approach angle of 34 degrees, departure angle of 30 degrees, and boy band angle of 98 degrees. FJ achieved its off-road
capability by using a high mounted, double wishbone, front suspension,
a 4-link rear suspension, with a lateral rod, coil
springs, and a stabilizer bar that provided over 9 inches of travel. They also mounted the air intake box on top of the engine for
extra breathing room, and gave the front and rear bumpers the high-water pants look to minimize the bumper being ripped off. [cracking] The FJ also came with
Toyota’s A-Track system, rest in peace, that
applied braking to wheels that have lost traction,
mimicking the performance of a locking diff without the binding that can make steering difficult in normal locking diff setups. Genius, I love Toyota for stuff like this. One of the unusual
exterior design elements is the windshield. It’s flat, squat, like
Reggie, that you met before. You wouldn’t want me to
eat this dog would you? You’re not sick, are you? And it’s at an angle similar
to its namesake FJ-40. Because of this, it had to
have 3 front windshield wipers. The downside to the cool
looking windshield, however, is that it’s loud and it breaks because it doesn’t deflect
wind or road debris, which is like, in my understanding, the main 2 jobs of a windshield. Also like the FJ-40 instead
of having the Toyota emblem on the grill, they actually
spelled out Toyota. T-O-I-Y-A-T-D-A, Toyota. Another exterior design
element is the hidden doors, which open 90 degrees to make it easier to load and remove the
quick-release seats. Though this suicide door design also meant that if the person in
the front seat got out at the same time as the
person in the back seat, they would be trapped against
the parked car next to them. The doors also make it easier
to hose down the interior and I mean that quite literally. The inside of the car was
made of waterproof plastic so it could be easily cleaned and also easily be manufactured. Another unusual interior
design element would be all the dummy switches. Normally blank switches are bad but in the case of the
FJ, they’re pretty cool. In a rare move, Toyota gave
the off-road aftermarket early access to the FJ
so that when it launched, customers could immediately
find aftermarket parts like winches, light bars, and brush guards to turn their Bruce Banner Toyotas into Incredible Hulk off-roaders. Which brings me to our next subject, customization. The company offered a TRD version, which included a catback
exhaust, Bilstein shocks, rock rails, and cooler wheels and tires. And in some cases, a different
mechanical locking diff or you can have your local
dealer turn your cruiser into an FJ Crawler with brush guards, skid
plates, lift kits, and more from the legendary Australian
off-roading company, ARB. The Toyota-issued trail
team special edition models featured unique colors for each year. And personally I am quite
partial to 2012’s radiant red. [Singing] Radiant red. The FJ Cruiser is a great truck and Toyota sold over 100,000
of them in the first 2 years but as sales tapered off dramatically, Toyota decided they
didn’t want to carry a car in their lineup that only
averaged 14,000 sales a year. So in 2014, they quit selling it. And the irony is, that the FJ Cruiser maintains its resale value better than almost any
other vehicle in America. So if you learn anything from this video, I hope that it’s you should
take all of your money, drop out of college, and
buy a ton of FJ Cruisers. Cause there’s gold in the mountains. We all gon get rich, we all gon get rich. Ooh, that ones fancy. This guy, is this guy’s brother. This guy could be their brother but he’s not their brother,
but he’s just as a handsome, if not more handsome than the brothers. That guy’s not that attractive, well he’s definitely handsome
than the littler brother, but equally, if not more
handsome than the bigger, more handsome brother. [whispers] I love you.

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