Toyota promises it is “fully committed to the Land Cruiser”.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is an SUV firmly entrenched in the company’s identity. Even though the current 200 Series Land model has been on sale since 2008 with minor updates, it still lives on with a new Heritage Edition for 2020. But that begs the question of whether Toyota will eventually get around to building a new Land Cruiser — if they replace the current one at all.
Like with the Tundra, the best answer we’ve been able to provide when you ask us if a new Land Cruiser is coming is, “Eventually”. Now, though, Motor Authority reports the 300 Series model is on the horizon. Speaking at the 2019 New York Auto Show, Toyota’s senior vice president of Automotive Operations Bill Fay alluded to the next-generation model’s arrival in the U.S. “We are fully committed to the Land Cruiser for the foreseeable future,” Fay said.
He called it a “heritage vehicle” for the brand, and he wouldn’t be wrong there. Toyota has sold the Land Cruiser in the U.S. since 1958, and has since been joined by its Lexus counterpart, the LX series. Despite the fact neither model sells in huge numbers, it’s still a major name for the brand.
New V6 engine?
Currently, the Toyota Land Cruiser soldiers on with a 5.7-liter V8 engine. It’s a solid powertrain, but its fuel economy is nowhere near stellar. Now, some suggest the thirsty V8 option may go out the window with the 300-Series Land Cruiser. Instead, the 381 horsepower V8 with 401 lb-ft of torque may be replaced in favor of a V6 unit instead. In a bid to meet tightening fuel economy and emissions standards, the next Land Cruiser may borrow its powertrain from Lexus.
More specifically, Autoblog points to the engine from the Lexus LS 500 as an option. In that car, the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 manages 416 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. It’s also mated to a 10-speed automatic, to the Land Cruiser’s 8-speed. Borrowing powertrains from Lexus may also open the door for a Land Cruiser Hybrid model.
Unlike our Land Cruiser, global versions of the 200 Series also see a 4.5-liter turbodiesel V8. It’s unlikely we will see that engine in the U.S., but it may be a robust option that sticks around, even in the wake of the 300 Series.
Regardless of possible engines, a Japanese report did disclose dimensions for the new Land Cruiser. At 194.8 inches long, 77.9 inches wide and 75.6 inches tall, it’s 1.6 inches taller than the current model. It’s also 0.1 inches shorter, and it rides on the same 112.2-inch wheelbase.
Production may start in 2020
It’s been over a decade since Toyota radically revised the Land Cruiser. This latest version ought to have more technology on board, like Toyota Safety Sense and an all-new infotainment system.
According to the Autoblog report, we should see the 300 Series Land Cruiser begin production in mid-2020. We may see it at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show before it ultimately goes on sale as a 2021 model. The Lexus LX will likely follow in 2022.