- Heavier duty chassis than LC200
- Platform to be shared with Tundra and Prado
The next Toyota LandCruiser which is due to arrive before the end of 2021, is expected to get a higher payload than what the 200 Series currently has.
Payload has been an issue for owners of LandCruiser 200 Series vehicles, particularly those who like to load-up and equip their Cruiser for extended travels and those with high-specification models.
Despite its large size an LC200 Sahara has a payload of only 600kg, so by the time you’ve fitted a bullbar and winch, loaded up the roof rack, packed the cargo space, and have a family of four on board, you barely have the payload left to throw in a packet of Minties for your trip.
There has been plenty of leaked spy photos of the new LandCruiser, which many are already calling the 300 Series, and if you look closely at them, you’ll find something not seen on a LandCruiser since the demise of the 80 Series back in 1998.
Zoom in on those big alloy wheels in the spy photos and you’ll see that the pre-production vehicles have six-lug wheels fitted. Toyota went to five-lug wheels on Land Cruisers with the introduction of the 100 Series in ’98.
The use of six-lug wheels indicates the possibility of heavier duty axles which would support a higher payload and towing capacity.
Across the Pond in the USA, keen American Toyota spotters have been encouraged by the sight of six-lug wheels on prototypes of the 2022 Tundra pick-up truck which have been seen out and about testing for more then a year now. They are claiming the new half-ton truck will have increased payload to better compete with the home-grown Ford F150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500 trucks.
It has been predicted that the 2022 Tundra will share its new platform with the next LandCruiser, and further spy photos in the USA have revealed the new Tundra to have a coil-spring, Panhard rod-equipped live rear axle under the back. Previous Tundras have always had a leaf-spring rear suspension configuration, while this coil set-up is similar to that under the current LandCruiser, further cementing the link between the two upcoming vehicles.
Even though it is a large (by Australian standards) pick-up truck, the current Tundra only has a 735kg payload, so fans of the model in the USA would welcome any increase, just as Australians would welcome any payload increase on LandCruiser. The current Tundra has a 4.5-tonne towing capacity compared to the LC200’s 3500kg.
Toyota USA released a teaser image of the 2022 Tundra on May 18 hinting that a full reveal is not to far away. While it doesn’t reveal a lot, it does show a tall blocky front end with high-set slimline headlights, similar to that seen in the LandCruiser spy images.
With the shared ladder chassis platforms between 2022 Land Cruiser and Tundra, it again raises the question of whether we’ll see the full-size pick-up imported to Australia by the factory.
With the relative success of the factory-backed imports of Chevrolet and Ram pick-ups, both locally re-engineered to right hand drive by Walkinshaw Performance in Melbourne, it has been asked of TMCA if they plan to bring their own truck to our shores. Aside from confirming that the Australian arm is looking at a business case for Tundra, the company couldn’t say plans have gone any further.
“We’re definitely interested in a full-size pick-up… we see very much an expansion in that segment,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing.
A new body-on -frame chassis for Tundra and Land Cruiser also poses the question of scalability. Could any such chassis find its way under the next Toyota Prado?
The current Toyota Prado mid-size wagon, the 150 Series has been on sale since 2009 so it’s almost as old as the Land Cruiser 200. But the 150 was really only a refresh of the 120 Series which first went on sale back in 2002, so it’s way overdue for a replacement and we are expecting one in the next year.
With the relatively limited number of Toyota vehicles built on a body-on-frame platform, it stands to reason that any new platform would be scalable to slip under a range of vehicles including the full Toyota 4x4 wagon and pick-up lines.
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