Good Oil: FJ Cruiser replacement teased
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Remember Toyota’s big, dumb (and totally fun) FJ Cruiser? It was an early Noughties Tonka-truck take on the iconic Land Cruiser FJ40 series, which conquered all sorts of terrain throughout the 1960s, 1970s and the early 1980s.
The FJ Cruiser was less serious about mud-plugging, although it still had the 4x4 faculties with which to scale mountains and ford rivers. (It had Prado underpinnings, after all.)
But it was decidedly more “surfer duuuude” in its demeanour; it was the product of Toyota’s California design centre and featured enough nods to the FJ40 within its concept car-ish exterior (curved rear quarter windows, retro round headlights, Toyota spelled out across the grille instead of the usual stylised logo) to appeal to a certain demographic.
Then last year, Toyota cancelled it. With so specific a look to begin with, the FJ Cruiser could hardly morph with modernity in the way other models do from generation to generation.
It also had only one engine option plumbed in: Toyota’s powerful but thirsty 200kW 4.0-litre V6 petrol.
Interestingly, although the FJ had clearly run its course, Toyota didn’t see it as a creative cul-de-sac. It wants some more of that sweet, sweet surfer duuuude moolah. And as a result, teased an all-new take on the truck.
Called the FT-4X by all accounts, we’ve not seen much more than a knobbly tyre-wrapped wheel. Although this hints that, perhaps this time, Toyota is keen to impress with the vehicle’s off-road capabilities, rather than just how good it looks with some longboards strapped to the roof.
It is rumoured the truck will feature a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6, as seen in the recently unveiled Lexus LS and that — gasp! — a hybrid version might even be offered.
We’ll know more after the New York International Auto Show next week.
Bugatti Chiron video reviews are ridiculous
Bugatti Chiron. Photo / Supplied
That Bugatti’s Veyron successor, the Chiron, would be monumentally quick was never in doubt.
But now that overseas media are getting their sweaty palms on the steering wheel of the actual car, some of the video reportage from speed tests in this ridiculously engineered beast are proving as jaw-dropping as we’d hoped.
First, some stats to explain the eyes-wide-open, uncontrollably giggly responses to a few kilometres behind the wheel of the Chiron.
Thanks to the carryover engine (the 8.0-litre W16 quad-turbocharged one, remember?) the carbon-fibre-tastic Chiron boasts 1103kW of power and a colossal 1600Nm of torque.
It will thunder from standstill to 100km/h in around 2.5 seconds. In fact it doesn’t even notice the zero-to-one-hundred sprint.
Its party trick is getting from zero to 200km/h in — wait for it — a shade under 6.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 420km/h. But if you think the safety killjoys are being ridiculous here, it is believed a real top speed of 463km/h is possible. Blimey.
Oh and we should point out that none of those preceding numbers is a print error, whatever your brain is trying to tell you.
But back to the videos. Drivetribe’s Jethro Bovingdon has a particularly good one (seek him out on the YouTube).
But really, just Google away and you’ll find plenty of lucky motoring writers immersing themselves in the joyous and — we’re guessing — slightly frightening business of driving Bugatti’s latest road monster.
The most interesting car at the Geneva Motor Show
Tata Racemo. Photo / Supplied
Okay, it has been a few weeks since the Geneva Motor Show now, but as if to illustrate how below-the-radar this particular car — from a massive manufacturer — was, we noticed it only recently.
While everyone was looking at the nth iteration of some Lamborghini that is already sold out anyway, over the other side of the pavilion, Jaguar Land Rover owner Tata unveiled an amazing looking little sportscar.
Called the Racemo, the two-seater is designed to offer cut-price performance motoring.
Tata sees the likes of the Mazda MX-5, Toyota 86 and even the Porsche Cayman as rivals; the disparate price brackets those would-be competitors fall into suggests to us it may try pricing any production model somewhere in the middle.
The Racemo is tiny in the metal: think small hatchback-sized. It’s built on a modular platform Tata has developed called Moflex.
Underneath the show car’s skin is a mid-mounted 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo that purportedly produces 140kW peak power and 210Nm of torque: handy in other words, especially in a car tipping the scales at less than a ton.
Whether its fancy gullwing doors will make it into production is unknown, but regardless, the Racemo is more interesting than that special edition Lambo everyone else was drooling over.