Long-awaited Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series on the way
After months of speculation and a dwindling supply of the old model, Toyota finally lifts the lid on the all-new LandCruiser 300 Series.
In what will be the biggest automotive news of the year for the tens of thousands of Queenslanders who rely on the rugged Toyota LandCruiser for their livelihoods and lifestyle, Toyota has taken the wraps off its all-new LandCruiser 300 Series.
The reveal in Japan followed months of speculation about the new model, along with a rapidly dwindling supply of the incumbent 200 Series which has pushed up prices of the well-proven but soon-to-be-superseded model.
Like a blood moon or a Broncos premiership in the modern era, this all-new LandCruiser 300 Series model has been a long time coming, with the 200 Series in its 14th year.
Now Toyota has put us all out of misery by providing the first official images and information on the new model in what is the 70th anniversary year of the legendary nameplate.
Describing the new LandCruiser 300 Series as “a giant leap forward in 4WD performance and technology,” a statement from Toyota said the redesigned next-generation LandCruiser offered unrivalled capabilities, on and off the road, V8-beating performance from a twin-turbo V6 diesel engine, along with greater rigidity, lower weight and improved suspension articulation.
Due in Australia in the final quarter of this year, Toyota claims the new 300 Series is the most capable LandCruiser ever and will expand the model’s reputation for on-road refinement, off-road performance, reliability and durability.
Boasting fresh styling and the latest Toyota Safety Sense electronics, the 300 Series is based on a new TNGA platform and features greater body rigidity, reduced mass, better weight distribution and a lower centre of gravity, according to Toyota.
Other attributes of the new model include a more powerful turbo diesel engine, advanced driving technologies, improved suspension and increased wheel articulation.
A newly developed 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel engine may have some towing traditionalists worried that it won’t back up the stump-pulling performance of the current 4.5-litre twin turbo diesel V8.
However, Toyota claims the new engine offers “V8-beating performance and flexibility”, with its power and torque outputs of 227kW and 700Nm representing a boost of 13.5 and 7.7% over the 200 Series powerplant.
The smaller capacity and more hi-tech engine is also claimed to achieve “noticeably lower fuel consumption and emissions”, and is paired with a newly developed 10-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission and a kerb weight reduction across the range of more than 100kg.
Underpinning the burly new ’Cruiser is a newly developed TNGA-F platform which Toyota says protects the vehicle’s off-road core by maintaining a frame structure, while the braked towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes matches that of the current model.
Improved suspension performance with increased wheel articulation have further expanded LandCruiser's traditional capabilities in the toughest of conditions, says Toyota, adding that select models will be equipped with a new electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (e-KDSS) that provides even greater off-road performance.
The e-KDSS system enables longer suspension stroke or ‘travel’, by effectively disabling the front and rear stabiliser bars.
Other firsts for a Toyota vehicle include a new Multi-Terrain Monitor that displays obstacles as viewed from the driver's viewpoint, and the adoption of a Multi Terrain Select function that automatically judges the road surface and selects the best driving mode.
Vehicle dimensions including length, width, wheelbase and approach and departure angles are very close to the outgoing model, depending on the variant, while features such as the bumper shape and placement of lighting components have been designed to help avoid damage during off-road driving, says Toyota.
Safety is taken care of via the latest Toyota Safety Sense active safety package which incorporates a pre-collision system that helps avoid a crash or reduce damage by detecting pedestrians (daytime and night-time) and cyclists (daytime).
The system 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 also triggered when the driver performs a steering manoeuvre to avoid a collision.
Toyota Australia Vice-President Sales, Marketing and Franchise Operations Sean Hanley said the new LandCruiser once again raised the standard by which other 4WDs were judged for reliability, durability and off-road performance.
"In our quest to make LandCruiser tougher and more capable than ever, we have taken feedback from customers from around the world,” Mr Hanley said.
“This includes extensive input from Australian owners who have experience in some of the world's harshest environments.
"The new LandCruiser range brings improved design and advanced new technologies that advance its performance in all conditions while enhancing its comfort, convenience and safety as a luxury vehicle.
"It (LandCruiser) is an indispensable tool that supports our customers lives and livelihoods by enabling them to travel almost anywhere – and return – in safety and comfort.”
There was no mention of pricing, model variants or equipment levels included with the announcement, but based on the recent launch of other Toyota models buyers should expect price increases over the current range, which starts at $81k for the basic GX, rising to $124k for the top-spec Sahara.