Also for America?
An unfortunate rumor was revealed last week regarding the status of the famed Toyota Land Cruiser. Although the Japanese automaker has not officially confirmed anything just yet, 2021 could be the SUV's final model year in the US, at least for the current generation model. Given that the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup truck will soon be completely redesigned, a new US-spec Land Cruiser shouldn't remain out of the question. This prediction may have just gained some serious traction due to a new report from Australia's Motoring, via Carsales.
A Toyota Australia spokesperson stated the following: "There's no reason LC [Land Cruiser] or Hilux couldn't have GR models. And we've trademarked [GR Hilux]."
We already knew Toyota is keen on adding GR variants for additional models, beyond the GR Supra, and the Land Cruiser would actually be a very good fit. Although this is purely speculation on our part, chances are it wouldn't focus on outright performance on-pavement, but rather off-roading, another are Toyota knows a thing or two about. Think of a GR-branded Land Cruiser as a serious desert racer with modifications done to its powertrain, chassis, and exterior.
Even the interior, already a mighty comfortable place to be, could be stripped down in several ways (lightweight seats, etc.) to help reduce weight. As to what could be placed under the hood, what we can say for certain is that the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 with 472 horsepower won't be selected.
Emissions-wise, it simply doesn't meet future federal standards. Instead, Toyota could opt for the new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with upwards of 600 hp developed by Lexus. Originally, this engine was slated for the LC F, an ultra-high-performance version of the LC500. Already a niche model, the LC F project has apparently been dropped due to new budget cuts brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. A GR Land Cruiser could be one way for Toyota to help recoup some of those engine development costs.
This same company spokesperson also made clear Toyota is "not excluding GR sub-branding from any core model." Could this also mean a GR 4Runner or even a GR Tacoma and/or Tundra? The answers will come in due time.