Toyota’s New 300-Series Land Cruiser Is Both Lighter and More Powerful
Toyota may have plans to discontinue the Land Cruiser in the US, but that hasn't stopped the Japanese automaker from developing a new one.
On Wednesday, Toyota unveiled a rare redesign of its 70-year-old SUV and unveiled a sleek remake of the luxury SUV that is lighter and more powerful than its predecessor. Of course, you can only get your hands on one if you live in Europe or other markets outside the US.
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The new Land Cruiser 300 series (or J300) is only the second restyling of the popular SUV this century and the first since 2007. The latest iteration is not radically different from the 200 series (J200), but has a much more distinctive grille , a new lighting package and a revised tailgate. The changes are subtle, but give the vehicle a smoother and more modern look.
Inside, Toyota has given the interior a complete makeover. The automaker has opted for a sleeker and more minimalist driver cockpit and dashboard, though there is a large tablet-style infotainment screen above the center console. As usual for the modern cruiser, there are three rows of seats. The back row can be folded down to increase the cargo space.
There are other changes under the hood. J300 owners have two engines to choose from: a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 and a turbodiesel twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6. Both are more powerful than a conventional V-8 in the J200, with the gasoline version producing 409 horses and 479 ft lbs of twist and the diesel delivering 304 hp and 516 ft lbs of twist, the automaker said. No matter which grinder you choose, it is combined with a 10-speed automatic transmission. And because it's a Land Cruiser, all-wheel drive is standard too.
The J300 is also based on Toyota's new GA-F platform. This is important because the new platform weighs 441 pounds less than the old one and has a lower center of gravity, better weight distribution, and improved suspension structure. Other upgrades include Toyota's Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, Multi Terrain Select System and Multi Terrain Monitor, all of which help make the transition from slippery asphalt to terrain more seamless. The vehicle is also equipped with the automaker's active safety package, Safety Sense, which includes pedestrian detection, pre-collision braking as well as steering and lane departure warning.
2022 Toyota Land Cruiser J300
As promising as this all sounds, it's unclear whether the J300 will ever reach our shores. Last December, Toyota announced that it would discontinue the Land Cruiser in the US after the 2021 model year. But not all hope is lost. According to Car and Driver, there is a slim chance the vehicle will hit the market in the form of the next-generation Lexus LX. Plus, as last week's announcement of the Lexus LF-Z showed, Toyota isn't afraid to change its mind.
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