It is, possibly, the most iconic name in the world of go-anywhere 4x4s. Unlike your common, garden-variety crossovers, soft-roaders, and urban SUV-wannabes, the Toyota Land Cruiser is the real deal, a 4WD build to ford rivers, cross jungles and conquer mountains. In India, different generations of the Land Cruiser have been part of Toyota’s line-up since 2002 until last year, when it was discontinued in anticipation of a new model. Well, that new model – the LC300 – has now been unveiled online, and the chances are that it will come to India by the end of this year.
The first thing that strikes you about the new Land Cruiser is its styling. It is a refreshing departure from the previous generation model. It’s still recognisably a Land Cruiser, but with sharp and clean new lines, less fussy and very contemporary. Based on Toyota’s latest GA-F platform, the LC300 keeps its predecessors’ body-on-frame construction, which is ideal for hardcore off-road use. Toyota, however, has reduced vehicle weight by 200 kilos without compromising on the vehicle’s sheer toughness and build quality.
The new Land Cruiser also gets a host of electronics, which improves the vehicle’s go-anywhere capabilities; there is the electronically controlled suspension, terrain monitoring, and terrain selection systems that ‘read’ the road surface and automatically engage the most suitable driving mode. Wheel articulation is much better, allowing the LC300 to take on the roughest off-road driving imaginable with relative ease.
Globally, the LC300 will be offered with a choice of two twin-turbo V6 engines – a 415bhp 3.5-litre petrol unit and a 309bhp 3.3-litre diesel – with 10-speed automatic transmission being standard with both. The engines meet the most stringent emissions norms (including BS6, of course) and will be homologated worldwide for global sales. The cabin features luxurious accommodation for up to seven occupants and modern bits like a large infotainment touchscreen, full smartphone connectivity, and an optional power-operated tailgate.
Since the launch of the first Land Cruiser in 1951, Toyota has sold more than 10 million units of these hardy workhorses worldwide. The vehicle has been a significant contributor to the Japanese company’s enviable reputation worldwide as the maker of some of the most reliable SUVs. The talk is that Toyota will launch the new Land Cruiser in India towards the end of this year or early next year. The on-road price is likely to be upward of a Crore so that sales will be limited. But as an iconic product it will add to the shine around the Toyota badge in India.