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Is this the 300 Series effect? Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Series V8 sales soar as countdown to all-new LC300 continues

Toyota's LandCruiser has had a boom month in November.

Toyota's LandCruiser 200 Series has reported a bumper month of sales, with almost 2000 shoppers parking the V8-powered off-roader in their driveway in November.

In fact, it's 1981 sales reported last month were enough to see the ageing icon force its way into the country's top 10 best-selling models list. The question, though, is why? Especially given the model will soon be replaced by the incoming 300 Series, which is expected to debut early next year.

Despite that, the LC200 sales are up a staggering 116 per cent month on month, with the big Toyota managing only 916 sales in November 2019. It lifts the model's annual sales figure to 12,843, with December numbers still to come.

At least part of the reason, says Toyota, is Australia's renewed focus on domestic travel, with the cross-country road trip - perhaps with a caravan in tow - back on the agenda.

"Anecdotally, there's more interest in travelling in Australia," says one Toyota spokesperson. "And so there’s renewed interest in vehicles that can travel and tow."

Which would also explain the uptick in LandCruiser Prado sales, which themselves have jumped to 2602 units in November, again more than double the 1204 vehicles sold in the same month in 2019.

But there is another possible reason, with news now all-but confirmed that the incoming Land Cruiser 300 Series will ditch the V8 diesel engine in favour of a new 3.3-litre diesel V6, as well as petrol and petrol-hybrid options.

The LandCruiser 200 Series is available in four variants: entry-level GX, mid-range GXL and VX, and flagship Sahara. All versions are powered by a 200kW/650Nm 4.5-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel engine, which is mated to a six-speed torque-converter automatic transmission and a permanent four-wheel-drive system.

Toyota in Australia has promised the new 300 model will out-perform the LC200 in every measurable way - from power and torque to capability and towing - but there's an, albeit unconfirmed, feeling that the fans are rushing to snap up the last of the V8 LandCruisers while they still can.

To that end, Toyota says it's not foreseeing any stock shortages or delivery issues LC200, saying it is constantly adjusting its ordering strategy, but is confident it can meet any demand.