Every year, automakers closely examine their line-ups to see what vehicles might not be feasible to bring back and it appears Toyota’s ready to part ways with one of its longest-running models after 2021: the Land Cruiser.
According to MotorAuthority.com, after officials gave the Land Cruiser a vote of confidence last year, things have changed so significantly, it’s elected to send it out to pasture — which if you’re going to send a Land Cruiser anywhere, that would be a good start.
Fans of the Lexus version, the LX, need not shed tears as it will continue to offer the model, albeit as a turbocharged V6 rather than a V8-powered behemoth. Toyota officials haven’t confirmed the report about the long-running ute.
“Unfortunately it’s gone, which I’m pretty bummed about,” an anonymous dealership source told the website, adding “it’s a punch to the gut for all of us enthusiasts who love the product. There’s no illusion it’s coming back, and it’s completely dead for the moment.”
The Heritage Edition Land Cruiser, which debuted this year, returns for 2021 with a third row option. Buyers also get new color choices: silver and gray joining black and white. About 10% will come in the new colors, driving demand up significantly, according to the dealer source.
The Land Cruiser has been around for six decades, and its current form for nearly 15 years, likely making it a profitable vehicle for the Japanese automaker, despite falling sales. Toyota’s moved 3,536 Land Cruisers in 2020, which was up from 3,222 in 2018. Toyota sold 614 Land Cruisers in the U.S in the first quarter of 2020, a drop from 807 during the same period in 2019.
The move is likely to clear the way for replacement model, expected to be known as the 300 series, the website reported, adding it could be powered by the same V6 turbo coming for the Lexus LX model going forward.
Earlier this year, TheDetroitBureau reported about Toyota’s product plans, which were filled with changes, although the Land Cruiser was not part of the behind-the-scenes revealed. Toyota is expected to introduce several new models, including an all-new crossover based on the Corolla and a new version of the 86 sports coupe.
The Tundra is likely to follow the lead of another Japanese truck – the Honda Ridgeline – and get a significant makeover in the near term. The domestic automakers have really separated themselves in terms of sales in the U.S. and the Tundra is going to need an update if it’s to get back in the race.
Other “long-in-the-tooth” utes include the 4Runner and Sequoia, which were expected to carry one. Both models will remain body-on-frame and, word has it, both will share the underlying platform to be used for the next-generation Tundra pickup.