According to Toyota LandCruiser chief engineer Sadayoshi Koyari, the 70 Series will not fall victim to the same stricter international safety and emissions requirements which saw the Land Rover Defender and Nissan Y61 Patrol recently discontinued.
“As long as there are customers that need the car, I think we will also produce the 70 Series,” Mr Koyari said at the Frankfurt motor show this week.
However, problems like the lack of curtain airbags on any variant other than the single-cab or the difference in track widths between the model's front and rear axles are not an engineering priority.
Also responsible for developing the LandCruiser 200 Series, Prado and their Lexus derivatives, Mr Koyari said handling issues resulting from the offset track were dealt with last year thanks to the inclusion of electronic stability control (ESC) for all LandCruiser 70 Series variants.
“I know about this issue, however with the vehicle stability control that we implemented as standard in Australia, the stability should be much more improved,” he said.
“Right at the moment we are not thinking about changing the (rear axle) hardware itself.”
Mr Kyoari clarified that issues caused by drivers turning off safety electronics are “a responsibility matter of the user”.
He said it is “possible” to add curtain airbags to additional body styles, but was “not sure” it would eventuate.
As well as stability control, the 2016 LandCruiser 70 Series update included engine and transmission tweaks aimed at reducing emissions and increasing fuel efficiency.
Top-selling single-cab variants picked up significant structural upgrades, in addition to curtain and knee airbags, which helped improve the model’s three-star ANCAP safety rating to a more-marketable five stars.
Meanwhile, the double-cab, wagon and troop carrier body style’s missed out on the extra safety features and structural revisions, with these variants remaining unrated by ANCAP.
To keep the popular off-roader going in the future, it is expected that Toyota will continue to tweak and refine both the powertrain and safety systems to meet more stringent standards.
LandCruiser 70 Series sales have jumped by 18.1 per cent to the end of August this year, with 5607 examples finding homes Down Under.
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