It's no exaggeration to say that the Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the automotive world's most venerated nameplates. It's also one of the longest-running models still on the road. The current J200 generation Land Cruiser entered production way back in 2007 — and has the poor fuel economy to prove it.
Luckily, an all-new 300 Series Land Cruiser has just arrived. We've had a steady stream of reports and rumors stretching across continents, while Toyota has been all but radio silent on the matter. Here's a roundup of what we think we know about where the next-generation Land Crusher is heading.
As a very brief video posted on Toyota Middle East's YouTube account and discovered by Motor1 reveals, Toyota is planning to finally reveal the new 300-Series Land Cruiser on June 9th at 8:30pm local time — which works out to 1:30pm in New York and 10:30am on the West Coast.
It's not just COVID-related time distortion; we've been waiting for the new 300-Series Land Cruiser for years now. It seems likely we should be seeing it fairly soon now, however. In April, pictures began circulating online showing what appears to be a bevy of new J300s waiting in a parking lot to be moved out, suggesting the production reveal could happen any day now. And come May, an apparent internal document was revealed claiming that the embargo on the vehicle's design would expire at the end of the month.
Reports have all but confirmed that the Land Cruiser ditching its gas-quaffing 5.7-liter V8 for more efficient powertrains. Many have suggested that the base engine will be Toyota's twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 as found in the Lexus LS; a 3.3-liter turbodiesel V6 will also reportedly be in the cards, though even if the 300 Series comes to the U.S., odds are that engine won't. (Both motors should be paired with a 10-speed automatic, and a hybrid version of the gas-powered Land Cruiser is likely to follow.)
Adding credence to the rumors: on May 17, Land Cruiser news-themed Instagram account @land.cruiser.300 posted the above image from an apparent internal document highlighting the power output of the two engines. If it's legitimate, the twin-turbo gas model should make 409 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque — noticeable upgrades over the naturally-aspirated 5.7-liter V8 found in the current model.
Land Cruisers, at the end of the day, are all about off-roading — so whipping up a version that draws attention to that seems like a gimme. Several recent leaks have suggested the 300 Series trim lineup will include a GR-S trim, one that takes the Gazoo Racing branding found on the Supra and GR 86 and applies it to off-road-focused performance tech. The Land Cruiser GR-S will reportedly pack off-road wheels and tires, front and rear locking differentials and the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System found on the 4Runner TRD Off-Road.
Toyota hasn't given us so much as a peek of a concept version of the J300, but there have been some revealing leaks of the new off-roader. One recent one showed off what appears to be the new model in outline drawing form, revealing the evolutionary new design and features like a one-piece tailgate. Other recent leaks have shown what appear to be the vehicle in final production-ready form, as well, lending credence to the validity of these illustrations.
Further trademark filing-style illustrations of the interior were found and posted via @kurdistan_automotive_blog_ on Instagram, then broadcast more widely by CarBuzz. Those reveal an interior more in line with modern Toyota products than the current Land Cruiser's dated insudes, complete with a larger, more prominently mounted infotainment screen and a three-spoke steering wheel.
The coronavirus pandemic reportedly slowed development on the J300 Land Cruiser. Some reports have had the new SUV debuting in Japan in April 2021; others have posited the Land Cruiser's 70th anniversary, on August 1st, could be the reveal date. If neither of those materialize, the Tokyo Motor Show in the fall (if it happens) would be a strong bet.
Toyota confirmed there will be no 2022 Land Cruiser in the American market. But the statement left the possibilities wide open. The J300 could arrive stateside in the 2022 calendar year as a 2023 vehicle. It could come, but only as a Lexus. We could also get another, cheaper SUV in America that uses the Land Cruiser nameplate.
One report has suggested the new Land Cruiser will be getting a GR Sport version. This would be sort of like the Camry TRD, where the vehicle offers handling and appearance upgrades but keeps the same powertrain. Toyota's Australian marketing chief also said not to rule out an eventual rugged off-roading trim.
One of the sticking points with the current Land Cruiser is the exorbitant price, and the 300 Series may do nothing to resolve that. In fact, an Australian report suggests it will be around $5,000 more expensive, pushing the price tag past $90,000.
The Land Cruiser may finally get a modern infotainment system. Russian website Autospot obtained photos of what appears to be the new Land Cruiser under wraps. Photos revealed a bold grille and LED lighting on the exterior and an interior with a similar 12.3-inch display to the ones used in other Toyota and Lexus models.
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