Very seldom have I ever seen a company put as much thought, design and attention to detail into an Internet application as Toyota has invested into their FJ Cruiser configuration app. It is indeed a thing of beauty. Quite honestly, just like the vehicle itself.
With ties back to the 70’s, the FJ Cruiser beckons your mind back to the old Land Cruisers back when they were really cool. Before SUV was even coined. Back in the day. The retro styling is refreshing to see, it makes this vehicle (and others) stand out in the crowd – a refreshing juxtaposition of where it all started; riding shotgun to what it has become.
Like other companies (Ford & GM), Toyota comes out swinging with a hard-hitting design targeted directly at folks like me, who would rather have something 20 or 30 years old – simply because it looks better than the sheet-metal-sheep that fly off the line today. The difference here is: Toyota actually made the damned thing. Ford and GM… still just sittin’ on their hands talking about it.
Look at the 2008 Dodge Challenger concept. There are no concrete plans to make the thing, and it’s most likely because the Charger isn’t selling like they hoped (maybe they shoulda thought a bit more on putting 4 doors on it?). Naturally this thing is concepted out with a fat HEMI power plant and most likely obscene gas mileage – but that’s not why you buy it right? Wrong, actually. I would love to have one of these with a V6 in it. Stick a V^ with some of the specks of the good Buick engines, get me 27 MPG, and I’m sold. Otherwise – stick in your ear.
The other concept I would love to see hit the streets is the Ford Bronco concept. 2 years ago now, Ford releases this concept to much fanfare, and yet no retail vehicle. They have 17 SUV models in 6 different lines – and yet they still do not make the Bronco. It’s better looking than every single one of their current SUVs. It just makes no sense. I would buy this rig in a second. No doubt. But I doubt I would ever get the chance.
It’s going to get interesting in the next couple of years as the big 3 face the fact that they are on the tail-end of the up swing and Honda and Toyota are kicking them right off the playing field.
Everyone is tightening their belts and puttin’ the gloves on – it’s going to be a Royal Rumble – and I can’t wait to see who wins.