RUMOURS of the LandCruiser 70 Series’ demise have been greatly exaggerated, according to Toyota Australia, which has just released a revised range boasting significant safety improvements and other modifications that greatly enhance its touring capability.
The headline act is the new five-star ANCAP-rated 70 Series Single Cab Chassis, which not only scores a host of electronic driver aids such as vehicle stability control (VSC), active traction control (A-TRC), hill-start assist control (HAC), brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, in addition to its existing ABS brake package, but also five airbags (including two curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag), relocation of the steering link behind the front axle for improved crash performance, a thicker and stronger chassis with seven cross members, and new body panels.
While other variants (Wagon, TroopCarrier and Double Cab) don’t score all of the chassis upgrades, they are equipped with the full suite of electronic driver aids. They will not, however, attain a five-star safety rating, and Toyota Australia is unable to confirm whether this is a goal for these variants.
While the 70 Series LandCruiser’s 1VD-FTV 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8 engine is now equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and piezo-electric injectors to help improve fuel economy and reduce emissions (it’s now Euro 5 compliant), arguably the most beneficial mechanical change is to the five-speed manual gearbox which now has taller second and fifth gear ratios.
As a result, the 70 Series will now cruise comfortably on the highway in top gear at 100km/h with a tad under 2000rpm showing on the tacho. Toyota says fuel economy is improved by up to 10.1 per cent across the range.
Other changes across the range include auto-locking front hubs with a manual-locking function, a fuse box and fused battery terminal for easy fitting of accessories, and new single-piece steel rims on Workmate and GXL Troopie with tubeless 225/95R16 tyres. The addition of the DPF has meant the exhaust system has been re-routed, so the Single Cab models no longer have two 90L fuel tanks, but instead have a 130-litre fuel tank.
Toyota says that the new 70 Series has been subjected to more than 100,000km of local testing in some of the harshest conditions in Australia. Toyota Australia’s manager of off-road evaluation, Ray Munday, said that much of the local testing consisted driving in “no road” environments, reflecting the varied uses that 70 Series drivers subject the vehicle to, such as “exploration mining, and by farmers tending livestock or mending remote fence lines”.
“Buyers around the world can be confident the new LC70 will meet their toughest demands because it has been developed and thoroughly tested to overcome the extremes of the rugged Australian continent,” Mr Munday said.
“Our development and evaluation involved as many different conditions as possible – from the high country to thick mud, rocky deserts and sand dunes – everywhere from our proving ground in Victoria to the Red Centre and other outback locations.
Toyota has also developed a complete range of accessories to suit the new 70 Series, including bullbars, trays, work lamps, handbrake alert, in-vehicle monitoring system pre-wire kit, auxiliary battery kit and battery isolator switch.
The significant improvements to the Single Cab variants add $5500 to the price, while other variants are up by $3000. Air conditioning is still an option at $2761, premium paint adds $500 and optional diff locks on Single Cab GX and Double Cab Workmate add $1500.