Toyota is preparing to launch one of its most important all-new models next year in the form of the LandCruiser 300 Series.
And it's not ahead of time. The 200 Series LandCruiser has been available since 2007 and has been updated just twice in the intervening years.
Finally, however, Toyota looks set to reveal an all-new LandCruiser which will bring with it new engines, more room, and modern safety features.
An all-new LandCruiser is a big deal not just for Toyota, but also its customers, with the off-road wagon having a customer retention rate in the ballpark of 90 percent.
Keeping those loyal buyers satisfied is an important, and difficult, job.
The official line from Toyota is… well, there isn’t anything official. As far as the local press office is concerned, no new model has been announced, therefore there is nothing to discuss.
However, a replacement for the aging 200 Series will have been in the pipeline for several years, and while Toyota isn’t saying anything on the record, it is understood that preparations for a reveal and launch cycle are starting to ramp up.
So, here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming all-new Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series.
When will the new Toyota LandCruiser arrive?
While there was media speculation earlier in the year that the 300 Series would be revealed before the end of 2020, that now looks incredibly unlikely.
Instead, the off-road wagon is likely to shown to the world next year, with an Australian launch expected in late 2021.
Toyota has recently employed raffle-style systems for customers to pre-order high-demand and low-volume models like the Supra and GR Yaris.
However, while there is no doubt there will be plenty of demand for a new LandCruiser, there will also be a large volume of vehicles slated to arrive locally, meaning such a system won’t be necessary.
If you want a current-gen 200 Series LandCruiser, the model will continue to be built by Toyota until at least the end of 2020.
We understand, however, that Toyota is moving into run-out mode for the LandCruiser 200 series across its dealerships.
What engines will be used in the new LandCruiser?
Because it's an all-new model, it’s likely that the LandCruiser’s engine options will come in for an update with the 300 Series.
Currently, the 200 Series is available with just a single engine choice – a venerable 4.5-litre twin-turbo diesel V8, producing 200kW and 650Nm.
First, the bad news; the V8 will depart from the line-up.
Australia is one of the few markets in the world that still offer the 4.5-litre diesel engine, which was updated to Euro 5 emissions standards in 2015.
However, Toyota needs to hedge its bets when it comes to future emissions compliance, and the 4.5-litre V8 oiler won't make the grade for tighter Euro 6 emissions - even though they aren't set to be implemented locally until 2027.
However, the good news is its replacement will have plenty of grunt to keep customers happy.
A 3.3-litre twin-turbo diesel V6 is expected to be the first engine available to Australian customers, with higher power and torque figures compared to the V8 it replaces.
Joining the diesel engine, a 3.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 could be added to the line-up, with ballpark outputs of around 300kW and 600Nm.
Will there be a Toyota LandCruiser hybrid?
Yes. It won’t be the first LandCruiser 300 Series to be offered, but a hybrid variant will eventually be offered in Australia.
Globally, Toyota has said it intends to electrify every model in its range by 2025.
Toyota Australia is on board with this plan, and has so far enjoyed booming local sales off the back of the incredibly popular hybrid RAV4 mid-size SUV variant, as well as with cars like the Corolla and Camry.
Timing on the hybrid 300 Series remains murky, however it’s thought that both petrol and diesel variants could gain battery assistance in the next generation.
Will there be a high-performance LandCruiser Gazoo Racing variant?
There is currently no word on a high-performance variant for the LandCruiser, despite international speculation.
Should Toyota HQ in Japan give a GR LandCruiser the green light, the local arm has already signaled its interest in the arrival of any hypothetical high-performance variant.
If there is a GR LandCruiser, expect power to come from a twin-turbo V6, with other changes including off-road racing-style suspension and rubber.
However, this one is a case of wait and see.
How much will the 2021 Toyota LandCruiser cost?
Official pricing for the 2021 LandCruiser 300 Series is yet to be revealed.
International speculation suggests the 300 Series will be more expensive compared to the outgoing 200 Series.
This, of course, is not unusual for a new model, and especially one that is getting its first all-new update in over a decade.
For a guide, you could expect the 300 Series to start a touch above $80,000, with the most expensive variant costing north of $120,000.
What other major changes should I know about?
Th new engines will reportedly be married to a brand new ladder-frame version of Toyota’s TNGA platform family, while the new 300 Series will sneak in under the 5000mm-long mark by about 50mm.
Width is estimated at 1980mm and height at 1870mm, which means it is set to retain its traditionally roomy interior dimensions. This won’t be a massive change, but the existing LandCruiser is already a big beast, so it’s important to note for any customers that put a premium on space.
Toyota’s full suite of safety systems are expected to be included as standard, helping ensure the LandCruiser remains well suited as a primary form of family transport.
Inside the cabin, it’s expected that both five- and eight-seat layouts will be offered, using two and three rows of seating, respectively.
The move from seven- to eight-seat capacity is important and would put the LandCruiser on par with the large Hyundai Palisade which is due to be available in Australia soon.
Infotainment is likely to also receive a wholesale upgrade, with the introduction of Toyota’s latest operating system, as well as a 12.3-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
In terms of model and variants, Toyota will undoubtedly continue to offer entry-level, low-spec variants like the GX for primary producers and industry customers, while the range-topping Sahara will also remain in place.
And if you're a fan of the oldest 'Cruiser of them all, rest easy - Toyota has gone on record as saying that the venerable 70 Series will carry on even after the introduction of the 300 Series.