This FJ is Cavalry Blue, one of the new paint colors for the '11 model year.
FJ Cruiser Upgrades
Toyota has made some improvements and added new equipment to the FJ Cruiser for the '11 model year. An electronic locking rear differential is now standard on manual transmission models and optional on automatic ones. Rear passengers will appreciate easier access to the back thanks to a front passenger seat that can fold farther forward. A new Trail Teams Special Edition-recognizable by its Army Green paint, black bumpers, and black grille-comes standard with Toyota's off-road package (Bilstein shocks, rear diff lock, skidplates, TRD alloy wheels, and BFG all-terrain tires) as well as water-resistant seats, rubber floor mats, a 10-speaker JBL audio system, keyless entry, and more.
Speaking of audio, the FJ's new standard system features AM/FM/CD with MP3/WMA compatibility, six speakers, XM Radio, USB port, hands-free phone, and music streaming via Bluetooth technology.
We hear industry reports that the FJ Cruiser might disappear after 2012, but a Toyota exec we spoke to recently said there'd be no reason to discontinue the FJ as long as there were buyers. Don't miss out!
•Dec. 31-Jan. 2: Fire & Ice New Year's Run and Bonfire, Superlift ORV Park, Hot Springs, AR. Info: 501.625.3600, www.orvpark.com
•Jan. 8: Tread Lightly! Trainer Clinic, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com.
•Jan. 14-16: Winter Fun Festival, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley, CA, by California Association of 4Wheel Drive Clubs. Info: www.cal4wheel.com.
•Jan. 14-16: SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, Laughlin, NV. Info: SCORE International, 818.225.8402, www.score-international.com.
•Jan. 22: Getting Started Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic, Hungry Valley SVRA near Gorman, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com.
•Jan. 22-23: Truckhaven Challenge, Ocotillo Wells SVRA near Salton Sea, CA, by CORVA. Info: www.corva.org.
•Jan. 22-23: Papago Military Vehicle Show, Phoenix, AZ. Info: www.armytrucks.org.
•Jan. 23: Advanced Beginner Off-Road Driving Clinic, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com.
•Jan 28-30: SnoFari Winter Trail Ride, West Branch, MI, by the Soldiers of Fortune off-road club of southeast Michigan. Info: email email@example.com.
•Note: If you have a 4WD event you want us to publicize, please send the date, location, a description of the event, and contact info-phone numbers and/or email/website address-to Calendar, 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245; fax 310.531.9368; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit your info at least four months in advance of the event due to our press lead times.
Surplus City Mud & Crawl
The fifth annual Surplus City Fall Mud & Crawl at the Urban Assault OHV area in Oroville, California, fell on the Patriot Day weekend this year, so in addition to the rockcrawling, mud bogging, monster truck rides, teeter-totter, and other events, local police, fire, and military personnel displayed vehicles in honor of those lost in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The driving events were open to wheelers of all skill levels, from newbie to pro. Winners on the manmade rockcrawl course included Aarron Sykes in the Unlimited class, Cody Minter in the Super Mod class, and Damien Granados in the Modified B class. In the mud, newcomer Kevin Burns won the Stock mud drag class, Richard Lozano won Super Stock, Jerrad Compton won the Diesel class, and Gary Upton won both Pro Stock and Unlimited classes.
The next Mud & Crawl will take place in April or May 2011. Watch www.cj-jeep.com for information.
It seems like Jeep has been flirting for years with the idea of building a pickup version of the Wrangler. Back in 2007, when the JK was new, the JT concept truck hit Moab and the SEMA Show. Just last year, Mopar took the concept on a retro spin with the Nukizer 715, a homage to the Kaiser M-715.
The idea may be closer to reality these days. According to Automotive News, a Jeep pickup was shown to some 4,000 Chrysler dealers at a meeting attended by CEO Sergio Marchionne and Chrysler's brand chiefs. According to the trade journal, Jeep CEO Michael Manley concluded his presentation to the dealers saying, "You never know what might show up in your showroom someday." As Manley walked off the stage, the pickup appeared and was greeted by enthusiastic applause.