The Next Toyota Land Cruiser May Be Delayed (And You Can Probably Guess Why)

The COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly forced Toyota to slow development of the 300-Series Land Cruiser.

2021 toyota land cruiser
Toyota

By now, it feels like we've been waiting half our lifetimes to see the next-generation Toyota Land Cruiser. (To be fair, if you're 26 years old, you actually have been waiting half your lifetime to find out what succeeds the current 200 Series.) The time-distorting oddness of 2020 has done little to help that perception, either.

Well, as if to add insult to injury, it seems as though the events of 2020 might actually cause the new Land Cruiser's reveal to be delayed, as well.

That's the word from the intrepid Aussies at CarsGuide, citing a report from Japan's CarSensor.net. According to them, while the 300-Series Land Cruiser was previously expected to debut this year, it was then pushed back to early 2021 in order to give Toyota more time to review the exterior design and to make sure the (likely controversial) hybrid powertrain was up to snuff. The COVID-19 pandemic then led the reveal to be pushed back even further, as it has made traveling overseas for development-crucial torture tests in other markets extremely difficult.

CarSensor also offers some (admittedly unconfirmed) insight into the design of the next Land Cruiser. According to the report, the 300 Series will boast a bold grille with four horizontal bars, much like the current model; the area around them, however, will seemingly be more prominent, with trim and ducting jutting out from the grille under the headlights to draw more attention to the lights. The beltline will reportedly be lowered for improved visibility on the sides, and the wheel arches take on a more angular shape.

Beneath all that, as previously reported, is expected to lie a body-on-frame skeleton based on a new cross-Toyota platform, one that'll likely underpin everything from the next Lexus LX to the future Toyota Tundra. Word on the engine beneath all that continues to vacillate between different rumors, but the latest from CarSensor claims the 300 Series will ditch the 4.6-liter V8 for the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 currently seen in Lexus models like the LS.

As mentioned earlier in the piece, the report also says the 300-Series Land Cruiser's V6 will be part of a hybrid powertrain — but perhaps not quite as radical as some might have feared. CarSensor claims it'll be a simple setup, with just one electric motor mounted between the engine and transmission — which makes it seem as though it'll be a mild hybrid setup along the lines of Mercedes-Benz's EQ Boost seen in models like the AMG CLS53, not a vehicle capable of traveling on electric power like the RAV4 Prime.

Whether any or all of this is true, of course, will remain speculation until the new Land Cruiser is revealed. Which, hopefully, won't be too far in the future.

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