When it became clear 2021 would be the last year for the iconic Toyota Land Cruiser, supporters of the rough, tough, go-anywhere V-8-powered beast were unhappy.
“Unfortunately it’s gone, which I’m pretty bummed about,” one dealer said at the time, 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.”
Even the news that the Lexus version, the LX, would continue on, albeit with a hopped up V-6 powerplant, left them wanting. However, the recent introduction of the 2022 Land Cruiser got many thinking there had been a change of heart within the executive ranks at Toyota.
As quickly at that light of hope appeared, it was extinguished: it’s not coming to the U.S. There is a new model for 2022, and the global launch — conducted online — was focused on the Middle East. That’s right “global” launch. Everywhere, but the U.S. will get to celebrate 70 years of Land Cruiser awesomeness.
Still a Land Cruiser
The new model gets a new designation: the 300 Series. It replaces the 200 Series that ran from 2007 until this year. The 300 Series was designed with two primary objectives, according to Toyota.
- Inheriting and evolving the Land Cruiser’s essence of “reliability, durability, and off-road performance”
- Creating a riding experience that enables the driver to drive with ease on any type of road in the world without tiring easily
Toyota developed and adopted the new GA-F platform based on new TNGA architecture while keeping the frame structure — the “foundation that protects the Land Cruiser’s essence,” the company said. The new Land Cruiser retains its can-do character by applying years of technological developments to the new behemoth, such as making it lighter, lowering the center of gravity, updating the powertrain as well as introducing a slew of tech within the cabin.
Time marches on
One of the “characteristics” of the Land Cruiser was the powerful, reliable V-8 engine. However, as is the way of the world these days, the new model gets a 3.5-liter V-6 or a 3.3-liter diesel. Mind you, it is a twin-turbo putting out about 400 horsepower and nearly 500 pound-feet of torque.
The powerplant provides plenty of muscle while allowing Toyota to reduce carbon emissions, especially since it’s paired with the new Direct Shift-10AT, the automakers new 10-speed automatic transmission.
According to Motor1, Toyota is also planning a “GR Sport” version of the Land Cruiser packing a wider track, locking front and rear differentials, and Toyota’s funky Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS).