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Game changer: Toyota to launch mini LandCruiser next year to slot below 300 Series and Prado, putting the Suzuki Jimny on notice | reports

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Toyota wil seemingly have yet another off-road weapon in its arsenal from next year, with credible reports the brand will launch a LandCruiser mini in 2024 to slot below its 300 Series and Prado SUVs.

The reports first surfaced on Japanese site Best Car Web last month, with the site quoting "company sources" who said a smaller model was coming. 

But those reports have now been doubled-down on by fellow Japanese site Mag X, which reports that not only is the mini LandCruiser coming, but that it will launch in 2024, which is sooner than most anticipated.

The site goes on to say that production slated for Thailand - which is where Australia gets its utes supply - meaning the ladder-frame SUV will likely be equipped with the 2.8-litre turbodiesel currently used in the HiLux,

In HiLux GR Sport guise, that engine makes 165kW at 3000rpm and 550Nm at 2800rpm. Another option would be to fit the new SUV with the same 48-volt mild-hybrid system that will begin appearing in select HiLux models soon.

While it was thought the mini LandCruiser could present as a crossover SUV, the latest reports point to the model being a proper ladder-frame off-roader, making it a competitor to models like the Suzuki Jimny.

In fact, reports now point to the mini off-roader riding on Toyota’s TNGA-F chassis - the same as the one that underpins the 300 Series and Prado.

The bad news? Toyota is yet to officially confirm the new model. But with the Tokyo Auto Show fast approaching, watch this space.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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