Toyota’s Land Cruiser is one of those automotive nameplates that its maker can ill-afford to mess up. Like Ford’s Bronco or Mustang, Chevy’s Corvette or Suburban and Porsche’s 911, the Land Cruiser is a living legend, an icon whose reputation lies on a lengthy history of excellence in its field — which, in this case, would be incredible off-road capability and reliability.
So it was a little shocking to hear that the next-generation Land Cruiser might forgo its tried-and-true internal-combustion V8 for a hybrid V6 powertrain.
At least one of Toyota’s own higher-ups, however, swears that any changes that come as the Land Cruiser transitions from the current 200 Series generation to the new 300 Series won’t compromise its core capabilities.
“Any thought that anything we do with Land Cruiser in the new model would make it less capable than the current one is a thought that people should dispel straight away. Move away from that,” Sean Hanley, vice president of sales and marketing for Toyota Australia, told Car Advice. “There’s no way in the world we would do anything with the vehicle that would make it less capable to suit the Australian market than what the current model is.”
While Hanley may have been referring to his home market Down Under, his words should be good news for Americans, too. Australia is one of the few markets where the larger 200 Series Land Cruiser remains extremely popular — in fact, it’s the most popular market for the Land Cruiser, period — so any changes made to the model would need to satisfy the Aussies’ demands for capability and durability. In other words: if a Land Cruiser is good enough for Australia, it’s good enough for us.
That said, the reports are all hypothetical until Toyota confirms or denies them, so we’ll likely have to wait until the new Land Cruiser debuts to know for sure. Here’s hoping that comes sooner rather than later.
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