Toyota has unveiled an entirely new version of its flagship large off-road SUV, the Land Cruiser, in the Middle East.
The new model, named Toyota Land Cruiser 300, is the first all-new iteration of Toyota’s iconic SUV since the 200 series was launched in 2007. The 300 gets a different platform called GA-F, new V6 engines, a 10- Speed automatic transmission and redesigned suspension.
The look is typical Land Cruiser – that is, the car is imposing and robust and clearly designed for off-road approach and take-off angles. The cabin is given a more sophisticated look, with a widescreen infotainment system with smartphone integration and with more appealing plastics and surfaces.
The new vehicle marks the first time Toyota’s TNGA platform – the modular architecture that forms the basis of most of the company’s models today – has been used to support a body-on-frame car. The two new six-cylinder engines, both with twin-turbo charging, are a 3.5-liter petrol and a 3.3-liter diesel; both should offer better driving characteristics and efficiency than a conventional V8.
Toyota hasn’t released any performance or efficiency figures, but the company says the engines, when paired with the new 10-speed automatic transmission, achieve around 10 percent fuel economy and CO2 emissions increase over the outgoing Land Cruiser. Weight savings also help here, because the new model is around 200 kg lighter than its predecessor.
The Land Cruiser 300 is designed to provide enough off-road performance to justify its nameplate while providing an easier driving experience on both rough terrain and slippery paved roads. It features what Toyota calls the “world’s first electronic kinetic dynamic suspension system” – likely an evolution of the old car’s technology, but now uses computing power to help the system adapt faster to changing surfaces.
A camera-based terrain surveillance system enables occupants to see the road conditions around the vehicle, while the in-vehicle technology assesses the quality of the road surface and changes the vehicle’s operating mode accordingly.
The Land Cruiser 300 is slated to go on sale this summer, but the choice of Dubai as its debut location is no coincidence. Because the car is designed for customers outside Western Europe. Toyota has no plans to introduce it here, especially since the company recently launched the much more fuel-efficient Highlander hybrid as the flagship of its European SUV range.
Would you like to see the new Toyota Land Cruiser 300 come to the UK? Let us know in the comments section …