Back in June when Toyota hosted the world premiere of the new Alphard and Vellfire minivans, it also briefly showed a shadowy silhouette of what will be a Century SUV. Fast forward to this week, the debut event for the Land Cruiser 250 also included an official preview of a different product. Actually, make that two. The silhouettes of two unknown SUVs appeared in the background for a few seconds at the very end of the event.
The presentation held by Toyota’s Chief Branding Officer didn’t include details about the two mysterious vehicles. However, Simon Humphries did hint something new is on the horizon: “Suffice it to say, there are lots of exciting paths to changing the future of cars.” Prior to this statement, he said Land Cruiser customers want the automaker to keep the nameplate relevant, and doing so could mean “carbon neutral approaches” and making sure the LC is “more affordable” as well as “within reach of even more people around the world.”
Putting two and two together, and analyzing the familiar boxy shape of the SUV on the left, we might be getting an early look at the FJ Cruiser revival in electric guise. After all, Toyota already teased it way back in late 2021, so it shouldn’t come as a big surprise the off-roader could be returning without a combustion engine. Pictured below is the Compact Cruiser concept that sent a strong FJ Cruiser vibe.
We should point out the potential resurrection of the FJ Cruiser would contradict a report from Reuters. The reputable news agency wrote in October 2022 that Toyota allegedly halted the development of an electric second-generation model as well as that of a Crown EV. Perhaps that was true at that point and now the FJ Cruiser (at least) is in the works again.
Although Toyota discontinued the FJ Cruiser in the United States after the 2014 model year, production didn’t end until December 2022. It means the Japanese brand manufactured the model for nearly 17 years before pulling the plug with a Final Edition for the Middle East limited to 1,000 units.
As for the other SUV teased during the Land Cruiser 250’s premiere, it’s a lot bigger and has significantly less ground clearance than the high-riding “FJ Cruiser.” We’ve played with the brightness and exposure of the image in an attempt to unlock more design details. It too seems to be an EV and we’re wondering whether it’s a Toyota or a Lexus, although given the context, it’s probably the former. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t seem to be the Century-badged SUV debuting later this year as that one is shaping up to be a Japanese take on the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
As a final note, the 250 isn’t the only Land Cruiser unveiled this week as Toyota is updating the venerable 70 series, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2024. It’s being reintroduced at home in Japan while the Australian version is sticking with the V8 diesel and five-speed manual gearbox combo, joined by a four-cylinder diesel with an automatic.