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Toyota TJ Cruiser to enter production?

The rugged van could arrive as soon as next year in Toyota's home market.

Toyota may be preparing to launch a TJ Cruiser production van, according to Japan's Best Car.

Debuting in Tokyo two years ago, the TJ Cruiser concept extends the FJ Cruiser's unique styling and rugged off-road capabilities to a compact van-like crossover.

The production model is said to have an even higher cabin than the concept, yet the overall footprint is said to be smaller than Toyota's C-HR. Despite the small size, sources claim five- and seven-seat configurations will be available.

The TJ Cruiser is expected to be underpinned by Toyota's flexible TNGA platform architecture, with a choice between a front-wheel-drive gasoline powertrain and a hybrid with all-wheel drive.

Toyota is said to be planning a launch as early as 2020, perhaps previewed by an October unveiling. The rumor does not mention any plans for a US launch, however, which is an unlikely proposition if the report is accurate in predicting a production cap of 1500 units per month.

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