Tokyo - Toyota’s butch looking TJ Cruiser concept is set to go into production soon, with the Japanese on sale date set for early 2020, according to Japanese publication BestCarWeb, which cited an inside source.

However, at this stage it remains unclear whether the crossover would remain a JDM special, or whether it would reach other corners of the world.

Although its boxy design echoes the FJ Cruiser, which was a proper off-roader, the TJ Cruiser is instead built on the company’s TNGA unibody platform that underpins most modern Toyota’s, including the CH-R, Corolla, RAV4 and Camry.

According to the publication, the TJ Cruiser is actually slightly shorter than the CH-R crossover, although it is taller and clearly a lot more practical.

The vehicle aims to blend the practicality and loadability of a van, with the style and stature of an SUV. The concept car has hardback-seats that fold to form a completely flat surface, even extending to the front of the vehicle, while sliding rear doors further enhance user friendiness.

The TJ Cruiser was designed to easily accommodate a wide range of outdoor equipment, as well as large items such as 3-meter-long surfboards and bikes.

“The Toyota TJ Cruiser was designed for drivers with lifestyles where work and play dovetail seamlessly,” Toyota said of the concept vehicle back in 2017.

“The ‘T’ in TJ Cruiser stands for "Toolbox" in reference to how the car can be used like a toolbox, while the 'j' stands for 'joy' in reference to the joy of visiting various places by car. The name 'Cruiser', which is traditionally used for Toyota's SUV lineup, is assigned to the TJ Cruiser to express the power of the vehicle.”

IOL Motoring