Rumors of its death may have been greatly exaggerated.
Toyota's venerable flagship SUV, the Land Cruiser, has been on sale in its current generation with only minimal changes since 2007. The company has yet to confirm if a successor is in the works, sparking rumors that the Land Cruiser might be on the chopping block or that it could lose its V8 engine for emissions reasons. Despite celebrating the Land Cruiser with a new Heritage Edition, the news surrounding Toyota's flagship SUV hasn't been positive lately.
But in a recent interview with Australian outlet CarSales, we may have finally gotten some good news about the Land Cruiser. Toyota Australia vice-president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley wouldn't give much detail about the next-generation Land Cruiser but did admit it is already in development.
The US-spec Land Cruiser is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 producing 381 horsepower but this engine has already been killed off in Australia. Instead, the Australian Land Cruiser uses a 4.5-liter twin-turbo diesel V8, which is also rumored to die after the current generation. In its place will likely be a gasoline and diesel V6 or even a hybrid as part of Toyota's plans to electrify every model in its range by 2025.
Hanley would not confirm what type of engine we can expect for the next Land Cruiser. "I think we'll have to wait and see on that question," he said. "Whatever we bring out will be capable and I think our loyal owner base will be very pleased. I can tell you whatever we bring out in the future will be exciting and capable."
"Whatever engine comes out on that car will definitely be fit for purpose, whether it's a V8 or a V6 or whatever the future holds for that car," Toyota Australia senior public affairs specialist James Wang added. For now, the aging 200 Series Land Cruiser continues to sell in decent numbers, especially in the Australian market.
"Right now we don't have any announcements to make on [a] new-generation," Hanley said, adding that the current model sells around 900 units per month in Australia. "It may be getting long in the tooth but I can tell you it's holding its sales rate. It's a brilliant car, it's got a huge market and we have a very loyal Land Cruiser customer base in Australia." The next-generation isn't expected to arrive until at least 2022 and should be accompanied by a Lexus-badged LX variant.