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2023 Toyota FJ Cruiser takes shape: Is this what a new Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler rival could look like?

The render takes most of the design elements of the original and modernises them. (Image credit: Rain Frisk)

You could be looking at the next-generation Toyota FJ Cruiser. If only Toyota was brave enough to build it.

About four years after the retro-revival off-roader was discontinued in Australia, automotive designer Rain Prisk has given their take on what an all-new version would look like in a new render.

The sharp looking render incorporates a number of design elements from the first-gen FJ Cruiser – itself an homage to Toyota’s original J40 LandCruiser – but with a modern twist.

The overall silhouette looks boxier than the original and the glasshouse is narrower too, giving the FJ a similar vibe to the upcoming Hummer EV.

Up front, the retro headlights and indicators have been sharpened up, with a lighting strip connecting the headlights via an illuminated Toyota badge in the centre of the grille. The indicators are seriously slimline and the grille appears blacked out, which suggests an all-electric powertrain could be lurking under the bonnet.

The chunky bumpers remain, albeit with a more minimal design, and the squared-off wheel arches are replaced with rounded arches.

It wouldn’t be an FJ Cruiser without the rearward opening rear doors and this version retains those.

Also evident from the original is the bonnet scoop, the thick C-pillar, front skid plate and contrast roof colour – although it is in black rather than white – as well as the iconic blue of the original.

The original FJ Cruiser was offered in Australia between 2011 and 2017. The original FJ Cruiser was offered in Australia between 2011 and 2017.

Unfortunately, it’s just fantasy for now as there are no plans for Toyota to resurrect the iconic model anytime soon.

But if Toyota did develop a new version, it would face tough competition from the likes of the recently launched US-market Ford Bronco, the Jeep Wrangler and even the Land Rover Defender 90.

There’s also plenty of competition from within Toyota’s own stable, including the Fortuner, Prado and LandCruiser 300 Series, while in the US it would compete for sales with the 4Runner.

The FJ Cruiser went on sale in Australia in early 2011 and was pulled from the market in 2017 after Toyota ended production for right-hand drive markets the same year. It’s been in production since 2006 at Toyota’s truck subsidiary Hino’s Tokyo factory and is still being built for selected markets.

It shared its ladder frame underpinnings with the third-generation Prado and was powered exclusively by a 200kW/380Nm 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine driving all four wheels via a five-speed automatic transmission. No diesel engine was offered.

The Australian-spec FJ Cruiser benefited from a local testing program to adapt the heavy-duty suspension and power steering system to Australian conditions. Australia’s coarse-chip roads also helped Toyota engineers create a noise, vibration and harshness package that was used globally.

It was priced from $46,990 before on-road costs when it was discontinued. The big off-roader is holding its value on the used market too. A quick look at classified listings shows early examples from about 2012 with asking prices at low-to-mid $40,000 mark. Newer examples from 2015 onwards are fetching more than $55,000.

Sales-wise, the FJ Cruiser had its best year in Australia in 2012, with 2981 units shifted, about 400 more than the Wrangler at the time. Toyota sold just 97 in its final year of sales in 2017.