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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist


Junior Toyota Land Cruiser set to happen soon as Land Cruiser FJ

Smaller Land Cruiser seemingly bringing an end to five years of speculative reports after the debut of the FT-4X.


First rumoured in 2019 as heading for production, a new trademark submission discovery has seemingly confirmed the introduction of new smaller model below the new Toyota Land Cruiser Prado in due course.

From FT-4X to Compact Cruiser

Reported at the time as going into mass market availability in 2021 based on the FT-4X Concept shown at the New York International Auto Show in 2017, the concept had been expected to adopt the 4Active designation based on an earlier trademark, but never made it into production for reasons unknown.

ALSO READ: Patent submission the thumbs-up for “mini” Toyota FJ Cruiser production?

In addition, it was reported that it would form part of Toyota’s joint venture with Mazda and produced at the Huntsville Plant in Alabama which currently produces the US-market only CX-50 and Corolla Cross.

Trademark submission uncovering points to return of Toyota FJ Cruiser
Concept FT-4X made its debut at the New York International Auto Show in 2017. Image: Toyota

Described at the time of its reveal in New York as being 75% production ready, the Land Cruiser 70-series inspired FT-4X morphed into the Compact Cruiser EV four years later as part of Toyota and Lexus’ 16 electric vehicle roll-out due for production before 2030.

Toyota plotting junior Land Cruiser called Land Cruiser FJ
Compact Cruiser EV debuted in 2021 as part of Toyota’s 16 vehicle future EV products. Image: Toyota Magazine UK

Again, branded as a concept, but without any mentioning of production readiness, the uncovering of the mentioned application documents now point to an all but certain reveal soon.

Welcome back FJ

Presented, albeit without any details, in a presentation slide at the Prado’s world reveal in August, motor1.com reports the application to the Japan’s trademark office, under the “vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water” classification, mentions the name Land Cruiser FJ and not Land Hopper as previously stated.

A tribute to the FJ Cruiser, whose production run ended last year after 16 years – but only in April this year in South Africa – the image in the presentation shows a model with a significantly smaller wheelbase than the Prado, but with the same frontal design as the First Edition and also the Land Cruiser 70-series.

Toyota possibly planning FJ Cruiser's return
FJ Cruiser lasted until April this year in South Africa, but exited production in 2022 after what had been 16 years. Image: Toyota

Appearing similar in profile to the 40-series Land Cruiser, the image further shows the spare wheel affixed to the tailgate, a styling element dropped from the Prado that will be sold as the Land Cruiser in the United States and Europe, as the Land Cruiser Prado in Australia and South Africa, as the Land Cruiser 250 in Japan in reference to its internal model code.

Toyota hints at revival of FJ Cruiser
New Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, known simply as the Land Cruiser in the US and Land Cruiser 250 in Japan. will likely be the styling inspiration for the FJ Cruiser. Image: Toyota

In what could be seen as a full circle u-turn based on the original J70 Prado having been developed as a light-duty version of the Land Cruiser upon its debut in 1991, the Land Cruiser FJ now looks set to fulfil a similar role in becoming a junior Prado, as well as the the fourth different “Cruiser” model; the other being the Urban Cruiser sold only in selective markets, including South Africa.

At the time of the FT-4X, reported as riding on the unibody TNGA-K platform that underpins the RAV4 rather than the body-on-frame TNGA-F that debuted with the Land Cruiser 300 in 2021, the concept had also been rumoured as possibly offering only an electric powertrain that eventually featured underneath the bonnet of the Compact Cruiser EV.

More info being awaited

As it stands, nothing has been revealed officially and while Toyota has declined to comment on the trademark or indeed the drawing in the presentation, expect details, either as teasers or leaks, to emerge within the coming 12 months.

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