Toyota will be launching the new 300-Series Land Cruiser soon. One source says the new SUV will not be coming to the U.S. market, at least as a Toyota. It would be a shame for many reasons, and now we have one more: a report from Motoring in Australia that a badass, Ford Raptor-style GR Land Cruiser could be in the works.
GR stands for “Gazoo Racing,” which is Toyota’s racing division. Following a trend with other manufacturers, Toyota is looking to build GR into a sub-brand. The Supra launched as the “GR Supra.” The next 86 could be the “GR86.” Toyota also has a GR Yaris for other markets and perhaps a GR Corolla hot hatchback for America.
A Toyota Australia spokesman told Motoring there was “no reason LC [Land Cruiser] or Hilux could not have GR models” and that Toyota was “not excluding GR sub-branding from any core model.”
Motoring speculates that a GR Land Cruiser would get a Lexus-powered twin-turbo V8 instead of the turbocharged six-cylinder likely to be featured in the 300-Series Land Cruiser. Toyota would overhaul the suspension for better ground clearance and articulation. It would also get upgraded skid plates and body armor as well as a snorkel, lighting and other off-road accessories. So picture a Land Cruiser version along the lines of badass full-size desert-running trucks like the new Ram 1500 TRX.
Missing out on such a spectacular off-roader in America would be disappointing, but those of us stateside should not be too discouraged. Motoring also has Toyota considering a similar treatment for the Fortuner — the international equivalent of the 4Runner. The 4Runner should remain a mainstay in the U.S. lineup; even though it is ancient, Toyota sold 37 times as many of them as Land Cruisers in 2019. Bringing a GR 4Runner to the U.S. to compete with upgraded Wrangler and Bronco offerings would make a great deal of sense.