Be sure to pick up the latest issue of Petersen's 4-Wheel and Off-Road for more information on the latest addition to our UA family
It's time once again for the Ultimate Adventure, and as in years past we are going to build an official vehicle to take on our weeklong off-road trip. This year, unlike ever before, we are going to start with a vehicle that is brand new to the world market, the Toyota FJ cruiser.
These new sport/utes are Toyota's entry into the Hummer H3, Jeep Rubicon, Dodge Power Wagon, Nissan Xterra market of ready-to-wheel 4x4s direct from the dealer's floor. Of course, you're not reading Motor Trend so you know darn well that we'll be taking one of these capable stock machines and building it into an off-road monster for the trails that "average" new truck buyers would never dream attempting.
So what is the plan for 2006? All we're revealing at this point is that it will be a tough-as-nails Toy with the biggest set of BFGoodrich Krawler tires stuffed underneath.
Notice the classic FJ Land Cruiser-styled grille, traditional white roof, and near-vertical front windshield. Of course, through the help of our many Ultimate Adventure sponsors, we will transform it into even more of an off-road workhorse.
We will be changing a bit of the FJ cruiser to build our Ultimate Adventure trail leader, but that doesn't mean that the FJ isn't extremely capable right out of the box. Under the hood resides the same 4.0L V-6 engine available in the Tacoma and 4Runner. This all-aluminum powerplant produces nearly 240 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque. Of course we're gearheads so we're already bench racing about how to turn those numbers up even more.
Behind that V-6, drivers can choose either a five-speed automatic with two-wheel drive or part-time four-wheel-drive transfer case, or a six-speed manual with a full-time four-wheel-drive transfer case. We've always been fans of the Toyota manuals, and ordered our FJ outfitted accordingly.
Underneath the FJ Toyota runs an independent front suspension, again nearly identical to that of the Tacoma and 4Runner. Meanwhile out back is a solid axle with a selectable locking differential. The rear housing flexes under coil springs and is located with four-links and a Panhard bar.