2023-11-27 Extreme Toyota FJ Cruiser Revival Goes Against Common CGI Sense, Looks Quite Fetching - autoevolution

Extreme Toyota FJ Cruiser Revival Goes Against Common CGI Sense, Looks Quite Fetching

With all the commotion around Toyota's tidal wave of North American novelties, one might forget that it's not all roses with the Japanese automaker.
Toyota FJ Cruiser CGI revival by mo_aoun_ismail 8 photos
Photo: mo_aoun_ismail / Instagram
Toyota FJ Cruiser CGI revival by mo_aoun_ismailAI-assisted designs by mo_aoun_ismailAI-assisted designs by mo_aoun_ismailAI-assisted designs by mo_aoun_ismailAI-assisted designs by mo_aoun_ismailAI-assisted designs by mo_aoun_ismailAI-assisted designs by mo_aoun_ismail
After the first six months of the year, Toyota still hadn't recaptured the lead of the US car market from General Motors – and not because of lack of trying. This year, they have already presented a multitude of cool automobiles, from the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid to the 2024 Grand Highlander eight-seat three-row family-oriented CUV and from the N400 Tacoma to the returning 2024 Land Cruiser SUV superstars.

However, not everyone will be satisfied with these reveals because the only rugged option to fight the reinvented Ford Bronco and the legendary Jeep Wrangler is as old as a 90-year-old granny, at least if we count that in automotive years. That would be the 2023 Toyota 4Runner, as the fifth iteration was announced back in 2009, and the company didn't celebrate its 40th anniversary with an all-new generation.

Besides, the Tacoma sibling also doesn't have a smaller two-door version like the Bronco and Wrangler rivals. No worries, though, as the imaginative realm of digital car content creators always comes with a solution to the rescue. Mo Ismail, the previously independent virtual artist known as mo_aoun_ismail on social media, continues to play with AI and 3D sketch software tools, for example.

Currently, the pixel master is a creative designer at Jeep, Chrysler, and Ram Trucks for Stellantis North America – but in his spare time, the CGI expert started experimenting for his independent design projects with automotive software tools like Gravity Sketch and Vizcom. Among the ideas, there were many interesting stuff – including a rugged BMW pickup truck and M GmbH dune buggy, a different kind of Nissan crossover, a thoroughly modernized G-Wagen, and even an adventurous Tesla Cybertruck.

They all reside in the photo gallery above for our (guilty) viewing pleasure and as company for one of the more interesting ideas – a rugged, extreme, (proper) two-door Toyota FJ Cruiser revival. The nameplate – produced as a retro-flavored mid-size SUV with tiny rear suicide doors between early 2006 and late 2022, was deemed expendable from the American market back in 2014.

However, with the return of the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser after a three-year hiatus in the US car sector, the rumor mill started rolling the idea that a smaller Land Cruiser-based FJ Cruiser could also make its way back to North America. Naturally, the imaginative realm of digital car content creators followed suit and morphed the well-received 2024 Land Cruiser into a smaller, compact FJ Cruiser, acting as a spiritual heir to the departed real-world model.

Not this CGI expert, though – as he goes against common CGI sense and carves a new path for the FJ Cruiser nameplate – one forged in compact two-door attire to give a proper replica to the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler and also sit below the upcoming next-gen 4Runner. Plus, the styling is quite extreme – if you look at the massive skid plates, the humongous all-terrain tires, or notice the massive suspension lift.

In the end, there are a few simple questions. One, will it resonate with Toyota FJ Cruiser admirers? Two, can Toyota sell this as a revived two-door alongside a new 4Runner and the latest 2024 Land Cruiser without cannibalization from 4x4-focused customers? And, thirdly, do we give it our CGI hall pass or not?

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Editor's note: Gallery includes additional AI-assisted digital projects by the same author.

About the author: Aurel Niculescu
Aurel Niculescu profile photo

Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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