There are few cars in the automotive world with a reputation as solid as the Land Cruiser. With go-anywhere credentials, space aplenty and luxurious appointments, it is the kind of car South African’s across the board aspire to own. Good news for local fans is that the next-generation, Toyota Land Cruiser 300 broke cover earlier today and it will go on sale locally in just a matter of weeks.
Most notable change is the new appearance of the Land Cruiser 300 range. The front-end boasts a strong rectangular theme that links it to models such as the current Hilux. Black or chrome accents help differentiate the trim levels. At the rear there are trapezoidal LED lamps to lend an air of modernity.
Speaking of trim levels, there will be three grades offered locally. A GX-R is aimed at the utility-minded owner, a ZX (no relation to Kawasaki’s two-wheel creations) level targets the urban-focussed and the GR Sport is made for those who prefer to venture off the beaten path.
Under the skin
Less noticeable than the new styling is the adoption of a new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. This is the first time the TNGA has been used for a body-on-frame application. Toyota says the Land Cruiser 300 offers increased torsional rigidity while also being significantly lighter compared to its predecessor. The development team focussed on not only improving off-road capability, but on-road performance and driving comfort too.
Other significant changes from a mechanical point of view are the powertrains. Two all-new engine options are now in the line-up: 3.5- litre twin-turbocharged petrol V6 and 3,3-litre turbodiesel V6. The former is borrowed from the Lexus LS500. It delivers 305 kW of power and 650 N.m of tractive effort. The diesel-fed engine offers 227 kW and 700 N.m. Both engines are mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission with low-range included.