While we were in Paris enjoying various anise-based cocktails, Toyota's in-house tuning shop, Toyota Racing Development (TRD) released some dirt on its Special Edition package for the FJ Cruiser. According to ToMoCo, $7,265 (manual, $7,250 automatic) will buy FJ buyers a couple of key off-road performance options, including TRD/Bilstein shocks, which supposedly enhance straight line stability, decrease dive during braking and twist during acceleration, and otherwise improve the truck's capabilities in the rough. Also, the locking rear differential doesn't override the active traction control, a feature Toyota says allows the FJ to navigate easier over boulders. Cosmetically, the package includes a straight-black paintjob (no white roof), 16" alloys in gunmetal gray under BF Goodrich All-Terrain meats, TRD performance exhaust and rock rails — on the outside. On the inside there are more airbags, a "multi-informational display" that includes compass, inclinometer and temperature gauge, a two-in-one AM/FM audio and six-disc CD changer, quickshifter (manual transmission models only) and all-weather front and rear cargo floor mats with TRD logo. Only 3,200 units will be built, with the first arriving at dealerships in early November. But wait. What's this addendum to the press release? A $300 price increase for the Camry Hybrid? Pretty sneaky, sis.
That's a mighty steep price for the modest hardware offered. I'm pretty certain you could buy a real FJ cruiser with a small block 350 and actual off road capability for the cost of that upgrade.
I like how it has more airbags to replace when you roll it on it's side (because you off road in it - right). I also dig the unnecessarily electronic gauges that probably cost $300 to build. to wit:
"compass, inclinometer and temperature gauge"
Compass: $4 at autozone
grade indicator - built into a ball compass
"temperature guage" aka thermometer - open a window.
Lets think about the 'locking differential that doesn't override the traction control'. If you're planning to use a vehicle for off roading - the only reason to have a locking diff - and you need to rely on traction control, you have no business being on trails.
Poor showing Toyota.
I'd pay that kind of money for a full roll cage, upgraded tires and wheels, five point harnesses, a snorkle, a locking diff, bull bar, winch, and body protection bars.
This kind of blantant marketing with no substance pisses me off.