Toyota Land Cruiser diesel will add hybrid tech
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Toyota Land Cruiser diesel will add hybrid tech

Jun 09, 2023

Toyota says the new Land Cruiser has a "chunky tough look" that takes the SUV "back to its origins."

The new-generation Toyota Land Cruiser will combine the large SUV's diesel powertrain with 48-volt mild hybrid technology in Europe starting in 2025.

That is one of the upgrades Toyota will offer to keep its 72-year-old nameplate relevant in a segment that has embraced electrification.

In the first half, 65 percent of the midsize/large SUVs sold in Europe were electrified (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery powered) with full-electric models -- led by the Volkswagen ID4 -- accounting for 44 percent that total, according to preliminary figures from market researcher Dataforce (see chart, below).

The Land Cruiser ranked 19th in the segment with 4,349 sales in the first half, a rise of 18 percent on the same period last year, well behind the ID4 and other EVs in the segment (see table, bottom).

When Toyota opens pre-sales in Europe in October, the Land Cruiser will only be offered with a 201-hp, 2.8-liter diesel powertrain, which matches what it available in the current version. A key upgrade is that the new Land Cruiser will be mated with an eight-speed transmission instead of the six-speed gearbox offered now.

The electrified version with 48-volt mild hybrid technology and the 2.8-liter diesel engine will be available in early 2025.

Toyota said Land Cruiser deliveries will start in the first half of 2024. European prices have not be revealed, however, the current Land Cruiser starts at 52,940 euros in Germany for the three-door variant, with the top-of-the-line five-door version starting at 81,430 euros.

Toyota says moving the fifth generation of the SUV to its body-on-frame GA-F platform, which it shares with premium brand luxury, will improve the Land Cruiser's off-road performance, while it has also take steps to make sure its "easy to maneuvre and more comfortable in conventional on-road driving."

To achieve that Toyota made the Land Cruiser's body and frame 30 percent more rigid, which increases responsiveness, handling and ride comfort.

"Basic suspension performance has also been enhanced, notably to help secure increased wheel articulation – a key factor in off-road driving capability," the company said in a release.

In the U.S. the Land Cruiser will rejoin Toyota's lineup next year in a trimmed-down, less-expensive form. It will also be equipped with a hybridized turbocharged powertrain.

The U.S. version will start in the mid-$50,000 range, Toyota said. In comparison, when Toyota suspended U.S. sales of Land Cruiser in 2021 after a 63-year run, the low-volume off-roader started at $86,880 (about 79,500 euros), including shipping.

Under the hood, it will be powered by a turbocharged 2.4-liter gasoline engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that has an integrated 48-hp electric motor and small, separate battery. The iForce Max hybrid powertrain generates up to 365 hp.

Toyota says the U.S. Land Cruiser will be capable of towing up to more than 2,700 kg, while the diesel-powered variant offer in Europe will be able to tow loads of up to 3,500 kg.

Toyota says this will be the first Land Cruiser to use an electric power steering (EPS) system, which will reduce the amount of kickback that can occur when driving over rough surface. The system also provides "smoother, more direct steering and easier maneuverability at all speeds," the company said.

Another feature aimed at improving the SUV's off-road capability is a new disconnecting front anti-roll bar. The technology enables the driver to change the status of the anti-roll bar using a switch on the dashboard. The aim is to improve driveability on rough roads and greater comfort and easier handling during regular driving.

Toyota says the new Land Cruiser has a "chunky tough look" that takes the SUV "back to its origins."

Off-road performance is helped by shorter overhangs, sculpted corners and a narrowed lower body, and body parts have been designed for easy replacement in the event of damage.

The SUV's interior offers a choice of five or seven-seat configurations.

The Land Cruiser was born on August 1, 1951 as the Toyota BJ, which became the first vehicle to successfully climb to the sixth station on the slopes of Mount Fuji.

Since its debut Toyota has sold 11.3 million Land Cruisers across more than 170 countries and regions. That figure includes the Lexus LX and Lexus GX sister models.

Larry P. Vellequette contributed to this report

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Toyota says the new Land Cruiser has a "chunky tough look" that takes the SUV "back to its origins."(see chart, below)(see table, bottom)Europe Breaking News Alerts Europe Daily SummaryThe Long ReadInterview of the MonthFocus on Technology Focus on ElectrificationSupplier SpotlightCars & ConceptsSegment AnalysisEurope By The Numbers