The third OEM press conference on the docket for SEMA13 belonged to Toyota. And while there was a lot on the plate for the manufacturer, there was some bittersweet news sprinkled amongst the announcement of the dream challenge winner and the unveiling of the latest SpongeBob-themed Highlander.
It was bittersweet because although 2014 will include a limited run of 2,500 Ultimate Edition FJ Cruisers, it will also mark the final year of production of the rugged SUV – one we recently reviewed and thoroughly enjoyed driving.
Here is how Toyota put it:
It's finally here…and then it's gone. Toyota today unveiled the 2014 FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Ultimate Edition at a press conference held at the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.
The 2014 Trail Teams Ultimate Edition is a commemorative final special edition of the FJ Cruiser. It is the toughest and most capable FJ ever and pays tribute to the iconic vehicle that will end its production run at the conclusion of the 2014 model year. With limited production, only 2,500 will be built.
The FJ Ultimate Edition pays tribute to the iconic Land Cruiser FJ40 of the 1960's, from which the FJ Cruiser draws its rugged DNA, inspiration and design. A unique white painted front grille surround and newly developed "Heritage Blue" paint are reminiscent of the classic FJ40.
Designed and built for rugged off-roading, the Ultimate Edition raises the bar one more time for off-road capability with all new performance upgrades. A race-inspired Toyota Racing Development (TRD) off-road suspension was developed and meticulously tuned for the Ultimate Edition. The new suspension includes TRD Bilstein race shocks with increased damping, articulation and high speed stability. The front shock assemblies are 66mm with new TRD race coil springs, which raise the front of the FJ just enough to level out the stance and improve the approach angle. The rear shocks are 50mm and are equipped with remote reservoirs to decrease damping fade.
The list of new TRD goodies doesn't stop there. A newly developed TRD front skid plate, made from one-quarter-inch thick aluminum plate comes standard on the Ultimate Edition. The TRD stamped front skid plate not only looks great, but improves approach angle and provides an increased level of underbody protection. TRD 16-inch bead lock wheels with BF Goodrich A/T KO tires, rock rails and roof rack complete the exterior.
The Ultimate Edition FJ Cruiser is only available in 4x4 and comes standard with Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), Crawl Control (CRAWL available with automatic transmission only), Vehicle Skid Control (VSC) with off switch and electronically controlled locking rear differential. In addition, the Toyota Star Safety System is standard.
Farewell to an Icon
Chiseled from nearly a half-century tradition of tough off-road performance provided by the legendary FJ40, the original 4Runner, and 4x4 compact pickups, the FJ Cruiser was developed as a basic, capable and affordable off-roader aimed specifically at serious off-roaders looking to push the limits. Hailed by consumers and critics alike, the FJ Cruiser became an instant classic.
The final model year 2014 FJ Cruiser is on sale now. The Trail Teams Ultimate Edition is scheduled to roll into dealerships in February 2014, kicking off a fond farewell to a Toyota original.
With sales of more than 200,000 units sold since 2006, the FJ rides into the sunset leaving lasting memories of one of the most iconic vehicles in Toyota's rich SUV history.
• Unique white front grille surround and exclusive Monotone "Heritage Blue" paint
• Blacked out bumpers, exterior mirrors and door handles
• All-new TRD heavy duty one-quarter-inch thick aluminum front skid plate
• Sew Specially-developed off-road tuned TRD Bilstein front suspension and rear Bilstein shocks with remote reservoir
• Exterior FJ Trail Teams Badge
• Roof rack
• Rock rails
• TRD 16-inch Gunmetal bead lock wheels with BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires
• Rear wiper
Interior Convenience Features
• Stainless steel FJ Cruiser Ultimate Edition dash plaque
• Power outside mirrors with illuminated markers
• Privacy glass on rear side, quarter and rear door windows
• Cruise Control
• Leather-trimmed steering wheel
• Floating-ball Multi-information Display with inclinometer, Compass and outside temperature
• Remote keyless entry system
• Auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated backup camera display
• One 115V/400W AC power outlet