In the 70th anniversary year of the iconic nameplate, Toyota has unveiled the new LandCruiser 300 Series, expected to debut locally in the final quarter of this year.
The company described the new 300 Series as its most capable LandCruiser ever, expanding on the model’s long-standing reputation for on-road refinement, off-road performance, reliability and durability.
A significant development sees the long-serving twin-turbo 4.5-litre V8 diesel deposed in favour of a new-generation smaller and lighter twin-turbo 3.3-litre V6 diesel which comfortably trumps its bigger brother on power, torque and fuel economy.
The new V6 engine produces a barnstorming 227kW and 700Nm of torque compared with the V8’s undeniably robust figures of 200kW and 650Nm.
The new engine is matched with the newly developed Direct Shift-10AT 10-speed automatic transmission.
In terms of environmental performance, Toyota claimed with the introduction of the 300 Series it is aiming to globally reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 10 per cent a year compared with the previous model, thanks to the new engine and transmission and the lighter body weight.
Other developments include a new TNGA-F body-on-frame platform, advanced driving technologies, improved suspension structure with increased wheel articulation, fresh styling and the latest Toyota Safety Sense electronics.
These advanced attributes, according to Toyota, are combined with greater body rigidity, reduced mass, better weight distribution and a lower centre of gravity. Towing capacity is maintained at 3.5 tonnes with a braked trailer.
Toyota said its new electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (e-KDSS) provides outstanding off-road performance through a larger suspension stroke achieved by effectively disabling the front and rear stabiliser bars, thus enabling greater wheel articulation and therefore enhanced traction in tough off-road conditions.
Other firsts for a Toyota vehicle include a new Multi-Terrain Monitor that instantly displays obstacles as seen from the driver’s viewpoint and the adoption of a Multi Terrain Select function that automatically judges the road surface and selects the most suitable driving mode.
In keeping with LandCruiser’s off-road heritage, vehicle dimensions including length, width, wheelbase and departure and approach angles are very close to the outgoing model, depending on the variant. Features such as the bumper shape and placement of lighting components have been designed to help avoid damage during off-road driving.
The latest Toyota Safety Sense active safety package for the new LandCruiser incorporates a pre-collision system that helps avoid a collision or reduce damage by detecting pedestrians in both day and night-time and cyclists in daytime.
It can also detect oncoming vehicles at intersections and pedestrians crossing the street when the vehicle is turning in either direction. An emergency steering and crash-avoidance function, which assists with steering and lane-keeping, is triggered when the driver performs a steering manoeuvre to avoid a collision.
LandCruiser was originally launched on 1 August 1951 as the four-wheel-drive Toyota BJ, which demonstrated a high level of off-road performance in adverse environments. It achieved fame by becoming the first vehicle to reach the sixth checkpoint of Japan’s Mount Fuji – higher than anyone had thought possible in a 4WD.
In June 1954, the vehicle was renamed LandCruiser – starting it on its journey to becoming Toyota’s longest-serving nameplate, well ahead of Corolla which began in 1966. To the end of 2020, a cumulative total of approximately 10.4 million LandCruiser 4WDs have been sold in 170 countries and regions worldwide, with demand now running at more than 300,000 vehicles a year.
The tally includes 1.12 million vehicles delivered to Australian customers which represents more than 10 per cent of all LandCruiser 4WDs ever sold. The totals include LandCruiser wagons, the heavy-duty 70 Series workhorses and the LandCruiser Prado.