Some critical improvements are happening.
There are some vehicles that simply refuse to die. The Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series is one of them. Although it hasn't been sold in North America for decades, it's alive and well in some overseas markets such as Australia. The SUV may be way too Spartan for some, but that's part of its endearing charm.
According to Australia's Motoring, the tough-as-nails 70 Series is receiving some significant upgrades sometime within the next year. Some much-needed safety improvements and increased payload capacity are both expected. Dropping the diesel V8 for an oil-burning V6 isn't expected, as was done with the all-new 300 Series Land Cruiser, which also won't be sold in the US. Bear in mind the 70 Series dates back to 1984 and it's changed very little ever since.
Quite frankly, it's amazing Toyota was able to keep the SUV going all this time without having to invest in major upgrades. Safety is now a key priority, especially following the Australian government's new pole side impact design requirements that will take effect in November 2022. The new mandate will result in the discontinuation of the three Lexus vehicles Down Under: the CT, IS, and RC; none of them meet the new standards. But if those far newer models are finished, then how can the 70 Series survive?
The new outlet posed this very question to Toyota Australia who made it clear that "the LC70 will not be affected by the regulation change… due to careful forward planning. We will provide updates in due course."
The last time the SUV received updates was back in 2016 when the single-cab chassis received a five-star safety rating. "As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we have plans to continue to update the specifications of this model in the next major update," the automaker added.
Toyota seems so committed to the 70 Series that it even began experimenting with a fully electrified prototype, shown below, earlier this year. Toyota Australia teamed up with a battery specialist company to create the Light Electric Vehicle (LEV). Given the rapid pace the industry is marching towards battery electrics, don't be shocked (no pun intended) to see batteries in the 70 Series' future.