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The Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series has finally been officially revealed, with the brand confirming V6 petrol and V6 diesel power for its LC200 Series replacement, as well as the introduction of a first-ever GR Sport model.
Yes, it's been a long time coming, but the LC300 does appear to be well worth the wait, looking clean and modern inside and out, and offering a heap (in fact, a heap more) grunt from its brace of engine choices.
So let's start there, shall we? Toyota has now officially killed off the hardy V8 diesel, replacing it with a smaller twin-turbocharged V6 unit that actually produces more power.
While the 4.5-litre V8 engine was good for 200kW and 650Nm, the new 3.3-litre V6 diesel will produce a mammoth 227kW and 700Nm, and pairs with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Just as important these days, fuel use will be significantly lower. While the V8 required 9.5L/100km on the combined cycle, Toyota says the new model will shave around 10 per cent off that number, meaning fuel use of around 8.5L/100km.
So more power and less fuel? So far so good then.
The twin-turbo 3.6-litre V6 petrol is also a beast, with 305kW and 650Nm, pairing with a 10-speed automatic, too. There's been no talk of the hybrid models yet, but they are expected to follow some 12 months after launch.
“The Toyota LandCruiser truly has legendary status as Toyota’s longest-selling nameplate, as the king off the road," says Toyota Australia’s President and CEO, Matthew Callachor.
"It’s king off the road status will be taken to another level, as this vehicle drives sensationally off-road, and even better on road.
"Knowing what I know about this vehicle, Australians will embrace this new LandCruiser with the same passion we have for every one of the previous models."
The new LC300 adopts a ladder version of Toyota's TNGA platform, dubbed the TGNA-F, which Toyota says is lighter (100kg thanks largely to a Toyota-engineered welding tech), but more rigid than the model it replaces, with better weight distribution and a lower centre of gravity. As expected, towing capacity remains a braked 3.5-tonne, with most off-road specifications maintained from the LC200, outside wheel articulation, which is improved in the new model.
Another key change is the suspension, with Toyota introducing a "world first" electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which delivers "outstanding off-road performance through a larger suspension stroke achieved by effectively disabling the front and rear stabiliser bars". There's also a new Multi-Terrain Monitor that shows the driver what's happening outside, and beneath, the vehicle, as well as a Multi Terrain Select function that automartically reads the road surface ans responds accordingly.
Safety has also been improved, with Toyota Safety Sense now including day/night AEB with pedestrian and cyclist protection, as well crossing detection, crash-avoidance tech and lane leeping assist.
Inside, the LC300 has been entirely overhauled. While Toyota is yet to fully detail the specifics, the pictures we've seen show a fresh and modern interior, dominated by a big central sceen, a lucious tan leather trim, wood grain, and modern tech.
"Incredibly reliable and capable, LandCruiser enabled Toyota to establish its foothold in the world automotive market, evolving from a basic 4WD utility into an upmarket SUV," says Toyota Australia Vice President Sales, Marketing and Franchise Operations, Sean Hanley.
"It is an indispensable tool that supports our customers lives and livelihoods by enabling them to travel almost anywhere - and return - in safety and comfort.
"In our quest to make LandCruiser tougher and more capable than ever, we have taken feedback from customers from around the world. This includes extensive input from Australian owners who have experience in some of the world's harshest environments. The new LandCruiser range brings improved design and advanced new technologies that advance its performance in all conditions while enhancing its comfort, convenience and safety as a luxury vehicle."
The new LandCruiser 300 Series will touch down in Australia in Q4 this year.