Toyota TJ Cruiser Concept: Half Toolbox, Half Joy, All Awesome
Don’t have room in your garage for an SUV and a van, even though you need both? Not a problem. Meet the TJ CRUISER, an automotive genre mashup that could very well see production if the public and fleet response is positive enough. Judging by the reaction it received at the Tokyo Motor Show, we’d hazard a guess that Toyota executives are already talking about when and how to produce it.
The friendly-sounding TJ CRUISER presents itself with the boxy characteristics of a van and a particular focus on utility, but also the rugged and powerful qualities of an SUV that combined, suggest a “go anywhere, do anything” attitude. No matter what the weather, no matter what the road conditions, for business or for pleasure, the TJ CRUISER is designed to get you and your cargo there in style.
Adding to the fun factor is the concept vehicle’s name itself. The “T” in TJ CRUISER refers to how it can be used as a rolling toolbox, whereas the “J” stands for “Joy”, referring to the joys that the freedom of personal transportation can provide. CRUISER is typically a name used in Toyota’s SUV lineup (most recently in the now out of production Toyota FJ) and is meant to give people a sense of this vehicle’s power and capability.
The simple, square-shaped cabin, similar to that of a van, screams of versatility and utility. Inside its cavernous, brick-like exterior, the passenger seats can be folded down, making a completely flat storage area capable of holding 3-meter long objects like surfboards and bicycles.
The backs of the seats and floorboards include numerous tie-down hooks to enable easy anchoring of items from small packages to longer objects. Moreover, the large opening of the back door makes for easy loading and unloading of large items such as bikes.
The seat cushion on the passenger seat directly behind the driver can be flipped up towards the front to create dedicated space for storing groceries or shopping items.
The large openings of the sliding doors enable loading and unloading of large items from the sides and easy entry and exit for family members, as well.
Underneath is a beefy SUV suspension, topped off with massive 20” alloy wheels and chunky Bridgestone all-terrain tires that work with the bold, blocky face of the TJ to create a powerful curbside presence. The hood, roof, and fenders are coated with a special scratch and dirt-resistant material if objects accidentally come into contact with them. The hood, coated in said material can even double as an additional workspace.
So, what do you think? Should the TJ CRUISER go into production? If for no other reason than its completely unique fusion of work and play features, we think so. To learn more about the development of the TJ CRUISER and all of Toyota’s exciting new concept vehicles, stay tuned to these pages.