The Land Cruiser nameplate never really sold that well in the US. That was mainly because Toyota positioned it as a luxury vehicle rather than an off-roader. While the last Land Cruiser sold in the U.S. met an unceremonious end, Toyota is gearing up to bring an all-new Land Cruiser to American consumers. The biggest unknown is which Land Cruiser model Toyota will base the new U.S.-market SUV around. Details have been scarce, but rumors suggest it will be based on the Prado, the mid-size Land Cruiser model sold globally. The Prado-based Toyota Land Cruiser off-road SUV could slot between the 4Runner and Sequoia in Toyota's SUV lineup.
However, Toyota will need to make the right changes to the vehicle's specs, capabilities, and positioning. That's if they want to succeed where previous iterations fell short. But according to the rumors, they have already done that. If an all-new Land Cruiser does come to North America, it will look to bring back go-anywhere capability and off-road prowess to the U.S. market. It could come with a rugged and tough design looking to build on the iconic nameplate's heritage of go-anywhere capability and durability in a package with more refinement.
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While there is no official release date for the new Toyota Land Cruiser, there is a possibility it will arrive in late 2023 or early 2024. Toyota may be targeting a 2024 release to coincide with the next-generation Prado model launching internationally, which is believed to be the basis for the new U.S. Land Cruiser. At this point, Toyota has been quiet with few details.
Toyota will need to provide an official announcement and more concrete details before we have certainty on an actual release window for the new Land Cruiser. Until then, late 2023 to early 2024 launch remains a possibility based on the limited information available.
All indications point to Toyota taking a new approach with the design of the next Toyota Land Cruiser. Unlike previous generations positioned as luxury off-roaders, the upcoming model is expected to embrace a more rugged and utilitarian aesthetic that harkens back to the iconic 70-Series Land Cruiser. The anticipated ergonomics and visibility will likely take precedence over comfort and aesthetic.
In totality, the revamped design philosophy points to Toyota recapturing the go-anywhere spirit of the Land Cruiser nameplate. Targeting off-road enthusiasts rather than luxury buyers, the styling is expected to showcase the Land Cruiser's roots as an expedition-ready large Toyota SUV. The design transformation mirrors the strategy employed with the Defender when Land Rover reintroduced that nameplate. Toyota aims to restore the Land Cruiser's identity as a hardcore off-roader rather than another upscale three-row SUV.
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Toyota already has several large SUVs available in the U.S., from the midsize 4Runner to the full-size Sequoia. The new Toyota Land Cruiser off-road SUV might occupy a slot between these two models. The 4Runner is a capable off-roader with body-on-frame construction, but it's on the smaller side for a large Toyota SUV. The full-size Sequoia is at the top of Toyota's SUV range in the U.S., offering a powerful V-6 engine and ample space. The Toyota Grand Highlander currently sits between these two models, but it's a crossover SUV based on the three-row Toyota Highlander platform.
It's not as rugged or off-road capable as a body-on-frame SUV. That is where the new Land Cruiser could make sense. As an off-road focused, body-on-frame SUV, it might be sized like the Land Cruiser Prado currently sold overseas - likely larger than the 4Runner but smaller and less expensive than the Sequoia.
If Toyota positions the new Land Cruiser as a more off-road-focused alternative to the Toyota Grand Highlander, with solid axles, more ground clearance, and features like locking differentials, it could find a nice niche in Toyota's SUV lineup. The Highlander would remain the more on-road-focused, comfortable option, while the Land Cruiser would be the go-anywhere model.
Toyota may go for a boxy retro design for the next Land Cruiser that resembles the original models or the current 70 series. This could help differentiate it from the more modern and rounded designs of the 4Runner and Lexus LX. A retro design could also capture the essence of the Land Cruiser's heritage and nostalgia while still being a modern SUV.
A boxy design with round headlights for a distinctive and rugged appearance and the bulging fenders, flat surfaces, and upright windshield would help make it appear capable and tough. Toyota could pay homage to classic Land Cruisers with design cues like circular LED headlights and tail lights, exposed hinges and latches, and thick C-pillars.
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The next Toyota Land Cruiser coming to the U.S. may likely feature large rounded headlights for a more classic retro look. Large round headlights evoke memories of Toyota Land Cruisers from the past, harkening back to the classic boxy styling of previous generations that buyers have loved for decades.
With headlights wrapping around fenders, it would also give the vehicle more of an "open-faced" appearance, helping enhance its go-anywhere attitude. By contrast, modern rectangular or projector-style headlamps lend vehicles a more closed-off and high-tech image. It could help differentiate the Land Cruiser further from Toyota's other offerings.
Considering the intent of repositioning the Land Cruiser as a serious off-roader for the U.S., a simplified, rugged interior is expected to match the retro exterior styling. It would create a coherent theme of Land Cruiser as a bare-bones off-road machine. A spartan interior could lower costs, allowing Toyota to price the Land Cruiser more competitively against rivals like the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco. This might be crucial to boosting sales versus the last-generation model.
Toyota could include features like auxiliary switches, locking differentials, and durable protective material for the dash and screens - amenities focused on off-road ability rather than comfort and technological flourish. The cabin could borrow some cues from the interiors of 70 Series Land Cruisers sold in markets like Australia. These are known for their no-nonsense, utilitarian design prioritizing functionality over comfort.
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The Land Cruiser may utilize a hybridized 2.4-liter in-line four engine which could produce over 300 horsepower, likely in the range of 320 to 350 horsepower, the same powerplant found in the Crown sedan and other Toyota models. A hybridized powerplant would allow the Land Cruiser to achieve better fuel economy while providing plenty of power for off-road performance and towing.
The new Toyota Land Cruiser off-road SUV for America will likely come with the TNGA-F platform chassis that Toyota has been using for their SUVs and trucks. It’s a durable and versatile chassis that can be configured for rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicles. It has proven strong enough to handle off-roading demands while also providing decent on-road comfort. The upcoming Land Cruiser could potentially come with a body-on-frame construction using the F platform chassis.
It is also scalable, meaning Toyota can modify the chassis to accommodate different vehicle sizes. Using the F platform chassis would give the Land Cruiser familiar underpinnings while allowing Toyota to differentiate it through styling, features, and powertrain options. The durable ladder frame design of the F platform is well-suited for the demands and payload capabilities required of the Land Cruiser nameplate.
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The current Land Cruiser Prado sold in other markets comes with 17 to 18-inch wheels and tires from the factory. For the next-generation Prado, Toyota may opt for slightly larger wheels and tires to better suit the tastes of the U.S. market. Toyota will likely want the new Land Cruiser to compete more directly with the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco. This means coming from the factory with larger tires and additional ground clearance to offer more off-road capability.
It could come with 19 or 20-inch wheels as standard or optional, paired with more aggressive off-road capable tires. Compared to the 4Runner, the Land Cruiser would likely come with wheels at least one inch larger in diameter with two to three inches wide tires with 285/70R17 or 285/70R18 tires as an option. Even 33-inch all-terrain tires may be offered from the factory.
Without any official information from Toyota, it’s difficult to speculate how the automaker might price the next-generation Land Cruiser for the U.S. market. But there is a high chance its positioning will be between the 4Runner and Sequoia in terms of the potential price range. Considering it might target off-road enthusiasts rather than luxury buyers, Toyota may aim for a starting MSRP that positions it competitively for that segment.
To effectively compete as an off-road-oriented option, the Land Cruiser may need to undercut the Toyota Grand Highlander in pricing while still justifying a premium over the 4Runner. But by avoiding excessive refinement and luxury elements, Toyota may be able to keep costs down and hit an attractive price point for off-road enthusiasts.2023-05-27T00:20:20Z dg43tfdfdgfd