Revealed: All-new LandCruiser is just two months away.
TOYOTA has finally let its biggest cat out of the bag.
That’s right, an all-new version of the legendary LandCruiser, this time dubbed the 200-Series to signify the fact it has been comprehensively redesigned, has been officially revealed for the first time following its launch in Japan today.
Toyota has also confirmed a November on-sale date for the new 200, following its world debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney on October 11.
That the Japanese automotive giant chose Sydney in three weeks’ time – rather than Frankfurt last week – to reveal its first all-new LandCruiser since the current, all-conquering 100-Series was launched in March 1998 is a reflection of the fact Australia is one of the world’s biggest LandCruiser markets.
A hotly anticipated new iteration of Toyota’s iconic full-size SUV has been the subject of intense speculation since last year, from a rumoured 650Nm twin-turbo version of the facelifted 70-Series LandCruiser’s 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8 – Toyota’s first diesel V8 – to its locally-developed active suspension system.
Now, Toyota has confirmed the "stronger and bigger" new 200 will bring more powerful petrol and turbo-diesel V8 engines, an Australian-developed "KDSS" suspension system, a world-first "crawl control" system, a "multi-terrain" anti-lock braking system and "enhanced performance on all surfaces".
"This is a real coup for Australia," said Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner.
"It reflects the vital role Australia has played in the development of LandCruiser over almost 50 years.
"LandCruiser has helped Toyota establish a deep connection with many of Australia's rural and regional communities - a connection that continues today.
"It has been a key factor in building the foundations for the market leadership that Toyota enjoys today in this country." Officially, the new LandCruiser is 60mm longer, 30mm wider and 15mm higher.
It is built on what's claimed to be a completely redesigned platform that "retains a full-frame structure, which has been strengthened to increase safety, reduce noise and vibration and enhance interior comfort".
Toyota has revealed the new LandCruiser can split power between the front and rear wheels via a torque-sensing Torsen® limited-slip centre differential built into the transfer unit of its full-time all-wheel-drive system.
A double-wishbone front suspension system with coil springs replaces the previous torsion-bar set-up, and is said to improve handling and stability.
As previously reported, the 2008 Cruiser will also be available with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which was originally developed by WA company Kinetic.
Employed in a Toyota for the first time, the system features hydraulically controlled front and rear stabiliser bars to improve on-road stability.
According to Toyota, KDSS also provides outstanding off-road performance thanks to a larger suspension stroke achieved by effectively disabling the stabiliser bars.
No further details are available, but Toyota Australia says our LandCruiser models will offer a new turbo-diesel V8 and an upgraded petrol V8 featuring variable valve timing.
"Both engines have considerably more power than their predecessors while the turbo-diesel engine offers a dramatic increase in torque," says Toyota.
Petrol models will also feature the world's first "crawl control" system for driving on surfaces such as rocks, sand or steep hills. Toyota says "CRAWL" automatically controls the engine and brakes to maintain very low speeds with minimal spinning or locking of the wheels.
It operates between 1km/h and 5km/h, has three speed settings selectable by a dial, and works in conjunction with a new ABS system that is claimed to deliver optimum braking performance on sealed roads as well as dirt, gravel and sand.
Apart from a stronger bodyshell, Toyota says safety advances include vehicle stability control and up to 10 airbags - front, side and knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, side airbags for the outboard second-row seats and curtain shield airbags for all three rows, which offer more space for up to eight people.
New LandCruiser options will include Smart Entry and Smart Start, Bluetooth mobile-phone connection, satellite-navigation and steering wheel controls.
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