LOS ANGELES -- Toyota has made good on its promise that the distinctive FJ Cruiser SUV would be a one-generation vehicle.
After an eight-year run, Toyota is pulling the plug on the vehicle, effective with a special edition for the 2014 model year.
The FJ Cruiser, derived from the 4Runner platform but with a shorter wheelbase and length, was developed as a no-compromises off-road vehicle that evoked the original FJ40 from the 1960s. It was a bold design statement for Toyota, including brash colors such as Smurf blue and school-bus yellow.
Initially, the niche vehicle was a mainstream success, selling more than 50,000 units in each of the first two years. But the recession came. Because Toyota never wanted to place incentives on the FJ, sales waned to between 10,000 and 15,000 units a year starting in 2009.
For the final year, in addition to a small run of stock FJ Cruisers, Toyota also will sell a 2014 Trail Teams Ultimate Edition FJ Cruiser.
The special edition will have a production run of 2,500 vehicles and come with Toyota Racing Development race shocks from Bilstein with increased damping, articulation and high-speed stability. Other items include a TRD aluminum front skid plate, TRD 16-inch bead-lock wheels with BF Goodrich A/T KO tires, rock rails and roof rack.
The Ultimate Edition is available only in four-wheel drive, with active traction control, defeatable vehicle skid control and an electronically controlled locking rear differential. Those who buy automatic transmission versions will also get Crawl Control, a feature that can keep the vehicle moving under control over rough terrain.
The special edition will go on sale in February. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.