Yes, you read that headline right. The American arm of Toyota has shoehorned a NASCAR V8 into the body of a 1966 FJ45 Land Cruiser, all in the name of this year’s SEMA Show.
Fittingly named the ‘FJ Bruiser’, the concept was created to celebrate the return of the Land Cruiser nameplate to the United States after a short absence from the market, emanating the spirit of all that is off-road.
Calling on Toyota Racing Development, the brand’s brief was simple, build a vehicle with “more than just a loud bark” and one that can crawl over just about any rock in its path.
With that in mind, the race team got to work by replacing the stock six-cylinder with a 5.9-litre V8 from a NASCAR Cup Car, producing a whopping 541kW. Unlike the stock engine, its new heart needs a lot of air which is why Toyota decided to install a massive intake that gives most drag cars’ a run for their money.
Bolted to the back of the motor is a three-speed automatic race transmission from Rancho Drivetrain Engineering, as well as an Advanced Adapter Atlas transfer case which enables the truck to crawl at 20km/h in low range while revving at 7000 rpm. On the other hand, when in high range and top gear, the pick-up can reach up to 266km/h.
Underneath the body sits a set of Currie differentials front and back that transfer power to 42-inch BF Goodrich tyres on all four corners. When at full bump travel, the wheels are said to sit at about halfway up the windscreen line.
If the driver ever finds themselves in a situation where the vehicle is high centred, an ingenious tank track mounted to the central skid plate can be deployed to safely move the vehicle off whatever obstacle it may be stuck on.
Inside, the 40 Series has been kitted out with Momo Daytona Evo bucket seats, clad in the same colour scheme as the exterior, as well as a 1968 Jackie Stewart championship steering wheel.
“This build is iconic, one-of-a-kind, and, let’s face it, totally radical looking,” says Mike Tripp, group vice president, Toyota Marketing.
“It’s a reminder of what Land Cruiser has always been; a vehicle built to take you as far as your imagination will allow.”
The highly modified 1966 Toyota Land Cruiser (FJ45) ‘FJ Bruiser’ is currently on display at the carmaker’s booth at the 2023 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.