Lectro vs. Lockers
Q The new 4Runner has a plethora of electronic traction control and off-road performance. Why not a front selectable locking differential?
A Toyota: The electronic systems offer a driver the ability to gain nearly as much traction as a locker would offer, yet maintain optimal steering response via the open diff condition when using electronic systems such as our A-TRAC or Multi-Terrain Select system found on the new 4Runner. This system also has been found to work well with the factory electric locking rear differential in slow driving in technical off-road conditions.
We feel the front locker brings traction enhancements, yet also brings some handling challenges to the drivers who use them. We currently feel that the typical consumer would be best served by a vehicle with an open front diff-using our electronic limited slip capabilities. As a manufacturer, we must be sensitive to the variable skill levels of the drivers who could take our products off road.
4WOR: These systems do work very well, but the way you use "electronic limited slip" may be confusing. This is brake-based traction control, not an actual limited slip differential, as many may assume.
Q Will we ever see a removable-top FJ Cruiser or 4Runner?
A Toyota: These have been studied at various times. There currently are no plans to bring this feature to either vehicle.
4WOR: With experience from our FJ Cruiser, the Turtle, we can say that having the top cut open is great. Sealing it back up might be difficult.
Q What is the most fuel-efficient 4x4 (with a low-range transfer case) that Toyota offers? Include the options best suited for 4x4 and mileage.
A Toyota: The new fifth-gen 4Runner would currently hold the title with a 17/22 EPA rating.... The Tacoma 4x4 with the 2.7L four-cylinder engine matches these numbers too!
Q On Toyota.com, under the "build your Toyota" section, how come I can't build different trucks from one ZIP code to another? For example, if I enter a California ZIP, I can't build a regular-cab 4x4 Tacoma, but I can if I enter a Pennsylvania ZIP. Is this truck not available in California?
A Toyota: That is a possibility. We focus on providing versions of our products that are in demand in various parts of the country, and may not offer versions that are not in demand in some areas. This distribution process is a dynamic system and is constantly changing as consumer demand changes.
Q Amongst your 4x4s, how do you determine which trucks get a fulltime transfer case and which get a part-time?
A Toyota: Several factors may contribute to the selection of a transfer case on a vehicle. Some are: The perceived consumer desire for a certain system, the size and weight of the vehicle, whether it has to tow/haul heavy loads, how we anticipate the owners will drive the vehicle, and how the transfer case will work with the power output of the engine/trans combination that will be used.
Q Wrangler, Hummer, Raptor, and Power Wagon all come with aggressive tires. Can I get an FJ Cruiser with a more aggressive tread?
A Toyota: We offer a more aggressive tire on special editions and in some cases from TRD as a wheel/tire accessory. We feel that it is a good practice to offer the FJ with an all-weather tire that meets a great variety of driving conditions, and allow the owner to purchase more terrain-specific tires of their choosing.
Special Toy Trucks
Q Toyota has made some great concept and show trucks in the past: a solid-axle Tacoma, a diesel Tundra, and a convertible FJ Cruiser. Do you sell these after they are done on the show circuit? Or is there a museum or somewhere that we can see them? Do they actually work, or are they just for looks?