Toyota’s showcase at the 2023 SEMA show in Las Vegas was a stark departure from its recent Tokyo Motor Show emphasis on sensible electric concepts. At SEMA, the Japanese automaker opted for a different approach, presenting numerous eye-catching show cars and heavily customized models. The star of the show was the extraordinary Toyota FJ Bruiser concept, which began its life as a 1966 Toyota FJ45 pickup truck.
This transformed FJ Bruiser is a formidable off-road beast, designed to conquer rugged terrains with ease. Under its hood, it packs a 5.8-liter Nascar V8 engine from Toyota Racing Development in California, churning out a whopping 533kW of power. This massive powerplant is fed through a colossal air intake protruding from the bonnet.
The power is managed by a 3-speed automatic race-built transmission and an Advanced Adapter Atlas transfer case, eventually reaching the Currie differentials in the front and rear solid axles. This setup allows the FJ Bruiser to crawl at a mere 12mph in its lowest gear and reach top speeds of up to 165mph in the highest gear while the engine revs at an astonishing 7000rpm.
To accommodate the new drivetrain and handle the V8’s substantial power, the Toyota Motorsport team fabricated a full tube chassis and roll cage, around which the body panels were fitted. The vehicle also boasts Fox shocks, 42-inch BF Goodrich tires on 20-inch beadlock wheels, and a MagnaFlow exhaust system with side exits by the doors, creating an intimidating exhaust note.
In case the FJ Bruiser encounters ground clearance issues or becomes high-centered on an obstacle, a tank track can be deployed from the vehicle’s belly with the push of a button, eliminating the need for the driver to exit the cabin.
Inside the cabin, the FJ Bruiser is equipped with two Momo Daytona EVO bucket seats, reupholstered in plaid to pay homage to the original FJ’s plaid bench seat.
The FJ Bruiser is just one of the many remarkable vehicles Toyota displayed at SEMA 2023, alongside the two-door Tacoma X-Runner Concept inspired by sports trucks from the 80s and 90s, special editions of the GR86 and Supra sports cars, and the new Toyota Land Cruiser in First Edition trim.