- Next LandCruiser series to be known as the LC300
- Venerable 200 Series nearing end of the road
- V8 engines will be phased out
- Next LandCruiser likely to be hybrid-only
As the long-running Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series prepares to move aside for a new generation 4x4 wagon, the opportunity to buy a V8-powered version of Australia’s favourite 4WD diminishes by the day.
Toyota has committed to offering a fully electric or electric hybrid version of every model in its range by 2025, so the developments that are in train for the LandCruiser are likely to be applied to vehicles like the Prado, HiLux and Fortuner.
While its specs are still a closely guarded secret, the engine will likely be based on a large-capacity six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, augmented with an electric motor and a battery pack.
Sources in Japan suggest that a 3.6-litre V6 engine will serve as the heart of driveline, with outputs estimated in the region of 220kW and 360Nm.
These numbers suggest that it will be a petrol-powered engine, and indeed the outputs are very close to those generated by the Camry’s 3.5-litre motor - which, of course, is fuelled by petrol.
It’s also available with a hybrid system, making it a simpler process for Toyota to apply the technology to the new ‘Cruiser.
However, Toyota hasn’t even confirmed what type of fuel the engine in the next generation LandCruiser might use.
"Next-gen LC, or LC300 as it is being called, is still in the early phases of development," said Orlando Rodriguez, the senior public affairs specialist of commercial vehicles for Toyota Australia. "There has been a lot of speculation out there about this model, especially from Japanese media, but it is definitely way too early for us to confirm any details."
This engine 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 50mm. Width is estimated at 1980mm and height at 1870mm, which means it is set to retain its traditionally roomy interior dimensions.
While the new powertrain may not match the current 200kW and 650Nm outputs of the current 200 Series, it will allow Toyota to continue to sell the big LandCruiser almost unchallenged in the large 4x4 category here in Australia.
Toyota parked its petrol V8-powered LandCruiser early in 2019, leaving that space to the Nissan Patrol.
The limited-edition model 200 Series, meanwhile, will likely be known as the Heritage, and is set to sport a more aggressive exterior treatment.
Based on the top-spec Sahara, the limited edition model will likely score blacked-out trim items where chrome currently exists, as well as a set of bronze 18-inch wheels, bespoke badging and blacked-out roof racks.
"We will be making an announcement on this in the next couple of weeks," confirmed a Toyota Australia spokesperson. "It is in line with the previous SEs we have made for Landcruiser and has mainly aesthetic exterior changes and is nothing too radical, but will definitely have a unique look. More details will be revealed soon."