Toyota has stuck to the tried and true with the new Land Cruiser 300. The vehicle’s dimensions – length, width, wheelbase – are pretty much the same as the outgoing 200 series,.
The body/ladder chassis design stays the same, too, except Toyota says the new model is around 200kg lighter.
It also gets new powerplants. Gone is the 4.5-litre diesel V8 and in its place is a twin-turbo 3.3-litre oil-burner delivering 226kW/700Nm. That’s a 13.5 per cent hike in power and a 7.7 per cent bump in torque over the LC 200.
The petrol-powered option (unlikely for New Zealand) is a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 putting out 305kW/650Nm. A hybrid version of the petrol V6 is expected to appear in some markets.
Both engines are mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox, which replaces the previous model’s six-speed unit. Toyota says the weight drop and the new transmission will improve efficiency by about 10 per cent.
Also helping to improve weight distribution and handling is the position of the engine and gearbox. Engineers have pushed the assembly rearwards in the body by 70mm and lower by 28mm.
The LC 300 comes with the latest technology Toyota has to offer, including Toyota’s Safety Sense system, its new Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (E-KDSS) and — of course — upgraded off-roading tech.
E-KDSS replaces the LC 200’s hydraulic system and allows the front and rear anti-roll bars to be decoupled from the suspension for greater wheel travel in off-road conditions.
The Land Cruiser has been around in one form and another for 70 years. More than 10.4 million have been sold in 170 countries. The outgoing LC 200 first launched in New Zealand almost 14 years ago.
As expected, the LC 300 reveal is only a day old and Toyota New Zealand is saying little about it, other than die-hard Land Cruiser fans won’t be disappointed.
“This latest 300 series performs, drives, and tows as you expect of a Land Cruiser,” said new vehicle sales boss Steve Prangnell.