The New Toyota Landcruiser

If you’re a diehard four-wheel drive or Toyota Landcruiser enthusiast, nothing I’m about to tell you will be news, as the release of the all-new Toyota 300 Series Landcruiser later this year is one of the most anticipated car releases for a while.

Firstly some background, the Landcruiser is Toyota’s longest running model and the second longest running SUV in production after the Chevrolet Suburban. Since the first-generation Cruiser was released in 1951, it’s sold more than 10 million units worldwide and over the time has proven to be Australia’s most popular true 4-wheel drive SUV. Incidentally for many years, Toyota has extensively tested the Landcruiser in the Australian outback due to the harsh conditions.

It all started in the early 1940s when the Japanese military commissioned Toyota to produce a light truck loosely based on the famous ‘Willy’s Jeep’ which they called the AK10. From what they learned developing the AK10 and for use in the 1950 Korean War, Toyota then manufactured an all-new lightweight utility vehicle called the ‘Toyota Jeep BJ’, which after the war in 1953, went into regular production under the ‘Landcruiser’ name.

The Toyota Landcruiser first went on sale in Australia in 1957 where it very quickly overtook Land Rover to become the vehicle of choice in rural and outback Australia, and in my mind the Toyota Landcruiser Troop Carrier is by far our most iconic outback vehicle.

Things to look out for in the new 300 series Cruiser includes the old 200 Series classic sounding 4.5 litre twin-turbo diesel V8 six speed transmission being replaced with a 3.3 litre twin-turbo six-cylinder motor paired to a new 10-speed automatic transmission, with the new package delivering better performance and fuel economy to the old, it just won’t sound as good!

The 300 Series has an all-new steel base frame with new suspension all round which combined, amongst other things increases the wheel articulation, and according to Toyota makes it “the most capable Landcruiser ever”, which is a very big statement.

On the technology front, there are many new active safety systems on this car including lane keeping and traffic sign recognition, autonomous emergency braking, daytime cyclist detection, 360-degree cameras and a 3D Multi-Terrain Monitor, just to mention a few.

Good news is that Toyota’s new GR Sport sub-brand will also be available for those wanting a bit more from their Cruiser which will include extra all terrain tyres, increased approach angle and ground clearance as well as extra off-road drive modes. There is also a suggestion that a hydrogen fuel-cell electric powertrain option could well be available in the 300 Series lifecycle.

These carsales articles give an overview of the new Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series and the proposed 300 Series GR Sport Landcruiser including a vision of the car in action and estimated pricing. To see the Land Cruiser 300 series in action, this Toyota promo video gives a more detailed look at the car and its design

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