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Talk of Toyota’s mini LandCruiser is gathering steam, with the name “Land Hopper” now registered by the automotive giant, and all signs pointing to a possible reveal, at least in prototype form, at the Tokyo Auto Show later this month.

But in even more exciting news, new reports point to the model being the cheapest model in the LandCruiser family, and by some margin, with media calling out a 3.8m yen(approx $40,000) price for the game-changing off-roader.

That would undercut the LandCruiser 300 Series and the Prado, of course, but it would also put models like the Jeep Wrangler and even the Suzuki Jimny on notice. Those numbers come courtesy of Japan’s Best Car Web, with the site suggesting the model’s pricing could even start at 3m yen, which would be more like $31k AUD.

All of which is very exciting, as are the new details beginning to emerge. It’s thought the new off-roader will ride on a ladder-frame off-road platform, but that its dimensions will largely mirror the Toyota Corolla Cross, which stretches 4460mm in length and 1825mm in width. For reference, the new Prado is 4925mm in length and 1980mm in width, making the Land Hopper very much the little brother of the LC family.

That would also make it longer and wider than the three-door Suzuki Jimny (3480mm and 1645mm), and longer even than the 3985mm five-door Jimny, too.

According to the site, diesel is off the table for now, with the model to launch with the Corolla Cross’s petrol-hybrid engine family, with top-spec models to possibly borrow from the RAV4 Hybrid family to unlock more power. Eventually, though, the Land Hopper will be fully electrified.

Toyota is yet to officially comment on the new model, or on the trademark filings. It's also not known whether the name Land Hopper will be for its domestic market, while international markets adopt a more familiar moniker, like FJ Cruiser. 

All should be revealed soon enough, with the new model expected to be revealed this year ahead of an on-sale in 2024.

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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