Toyota has officially dumped the iconic V8 petrol engine from its 200 Series LandCruiser line-up, with weak sales the main reason behind the decision.
And it’s already happened, with the petrol engine’s specs and info pulled off Toyota’s Australian website.
This suggests that dealers won’t take any more orders for the petrol-powered variant, and once dealer stocks are cleared, that will spell the end of the petrol-powered LandCruiser era in Australia.
"The Landcruiser 200 series has discontinued all petrol variants from August 2019 production onwards," confirmed a spokesperson from Toyota Australia. "This was in response to low market demand for this variant."
It also means the end of the petrol V8 across Toyota’s entire Australian line-up for the first time in more than 20 years.
The first LandCruiser to score a V8 engine was the 100 Series, which launched in 1998 with a 4.7-litre bent eight under the bonnet.
The 4.6-litre naturally aspirated V8 is – or was – the biggest, most powerful petrol engine in the entire local Toyota line-up, but it has struggled in the sales race when compared to Toyota’s beefier 4.5-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel.
Out of some 8400 LandCruisers sold so far in 2019, just 500 or so have been petrol-powered.
As well, toughening emissions regulations have put the squeeze on the ageing engine’s viability.
The ageing 200 Series LandCruiser has been on sale here in Australia for almost 12 years, and is expected to push on until at least 2021 before the arrival of the – no surprises here – 300 Series.
The 300 Series is expected to offer some form of hybrid powerplant at some stage in its model lifecycle, given that Toyota has stated that every model will offer some form of electrification by 2025.
Whether this will be a petrol/electric or diesel/electric hybrid is yet to be seen, but the 300 Series isn’t likely to carry the twin-turbo diesel V8 under the bonnet.
The capitulation of Toyota in the petrol-powered V8 4x4 stakes leaves only the Nissan Patrol and its 5.6-litre quad-cam V8 as the only big offroader under $100,000 with petrol still in its veins.
The directly related Infiniti QX80 and Range Rover still offer petrol V8 variants within their respective line-ups.