Toyota Unveils Four Show-Stopping Concepts at SEMA

“Track or Trail, Your Thrill Awaits.” That’s what the 2023 SEMA Show in Las Vegas is all about, and Toyota definitely got the message, revealing four special builds in a show-stopping display of on- and off-road performance that old-school and new-school enthusiasts alike will appreciate.

Which one of these four is your favourite?

FJ Bruiser

Photo: Toyota

The Land Cruiser is returning to Canada for the 2024 model year, but this completely bonkers concept is based on a classic 1966 FJ45 Land Cruiser and inspired by the otherworldly machines from the King of the Hammers off-road competition.

The team fabricated a full tube chassis and roll cage, then mated the body to a new, more rigid custom frame. Next, they added a full trailing arm suspension with Fox shocks and Eibach springs. Obviously, the most eye-catching feature is the set of 42-inch BFGoodrich Krawler T/A KX tires mounted to 20-inch Method Beadlock wheels, which at full bump travel put the tires about halfway up the windshield line. Seriously.

Motivation comes from a modified version of Toyota’s current 5.8-litre TRD V8 NASCAR Cup Car powerplant, which produces 725 horsepower and breathes through a MagnaFlow exhaust. But wait, it gets even better: the drivetrain setup allows the FJ Bruiser to crawl at 12 mph (20 km/h) revving to 7,000 rpm in the lowest gear and reach speeds of up to 165 mph (265 km/h) at that same 7,000 rpm engine speed in highest gear.

Oh, and for rock-crawling duty, the centre skid plate was replaced with a tank-like track system that can be used to power out of any high-centered situation. No need for the driver to unstrap and find something to tie off the winch. Awesome.

FJ Retro Cruiser

Photo: Toyota

This other creation is a refreshed version of racing legend Rod Millen’s 1967 FJ45 Land Cruiser Wagon concept, which debuted back in 1999. Toyota is showcasing it at SEMA for the first time.

The team replaced worn items and aged components including leaking shocks and rotted hoses while reviving the fuel system. Then, with the help of a tuning shop called Complete Customs, the vehicle was stripped down to bare metal before being sprayed in the original colour.

Don’t miss the photo gallery at the top of the page for a closer look at the luxurious interior, complete with a range of contemporary Land Cruiser components and surfaces, many of which have been upgraded with Connolly leather. 

Tacoma X-Runner

Photo: Toyota

Naturally, Toyota had to find a couple of ways to showcase its brand new 2024 Tacoma. Rather than taking off-road capability and overlanding to new levels, the company went in the opposite direction, building on the success of the 2004 X-Runner concept.

The new Tacoma X-Runner is a street performance truck that would be right at home on a track, with a reinforced chassis, 3-inch wider tracks and Tundra-sourced air suspension to attain the lowest possible ride height while still carrying a load. The upper and lower arms were lengthened, the springs were stiffened and custom-valved, 2.5-inch Bilstein shocks were mounted at each corner. One-off 21-inch carbon fibre wheels on Michelin Sport tires are also part of the package.

As you can see, the entire body has been revised, giving the Tacoma X-Runner a properly muscular appearance. The functional hood scoop is purpose-built, as well, drawing cool air to a modified i-FORCE 3.4-litre twin-turbocharged V6 producing 421 horsepower with 479 lb-ft. of torque. A Tundra solid axle with 4.30:1 final drive and an electronic locking differential splits the torque to the rear wheels.

Blue Beetle Tacoma

Photo: Toyota

Another head-turning Tacoma at SEMA this year mirrors superhero Jaime Reyes from the recent movie Blue Beetle. Warner Bros. designers produced the wrap concept, which was inspired by the iconic Blue Beetle suit and the overall aesthetics of the film.

To complete the look, Toyota Genuine Predator tube steps and exhaust tips were also added.

In related news, Toyota announced today that it will be offering a TRD Performance Package for Tundra customers starting in early 2024, boosting output from 389 hp to 421 hp on regular models and from 437 hp to 469 hp on hybrid models. Toyota Canada told us the package will be available north of the border, as well.

Watch: 2024 Toyota Tacoma Presentation

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