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Here we go again. Like clockwork, just as soon as rumours of a new Toyota LandCruiser surface, demand for the outgoing model skyrockets.
It's a strange phenomenon almost exclusive to LandCruiser models. You don't see people rushing out to buy the old iPhone in the weeks before a new one launches, do you?
But do you remember in the months before the LandCruiser 300 Series arrived, when used LC200 prices went through the roof? Driven, I guess, by fears the new one wouldn't be as tough, and that new engine wouldn't be as powerful, people rushed to get their hands on the final examples of the outgoing model.
In fact, the LC200 proved twice as popular in the first five months of 2021 as it was in its first full year on sale, way back in 2008. More than 10,000 found homes between January and May, compared to just 5275 in 2008 when it was a new car.
They'll never admit it, but I wonder if those people are feeling a little sheepish now that we know just how much better the LC300 is than the LC200, and how much it improves the LandCruiser formula right across the board.
A similar thing is now happening with the 10-years-plus-old LandCruiser Prado. Rumours of a new model abound, and yet the wait list for this model continues to grow.
Can I suggest some restraint here? Because you're currently in a queue for a vehicle that launched more than a decade ago, and a new version could be closer than you think.
And while there will, no doubt, be the usual chorus that say it won't be as good as the current-gen model, I can say with some confidence that it will be. And better, even.
In fact, the latest reports out of Japan suggest a new model will be revealed around the middle of this year, with the MY24 Prado then expected to launch in Australia in late 2023 or early 2024.
It will look better, drive better, and be packed with more technology than the current-gen car, and like the LC300, will feature a full suite of safety aids and infotainment technology, all of which will make the Prado we know now feel decidedly old-school by comparison.
And just to satisfy the purists, the reports suggest the new model will carryover the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine - though with the addition of mild hybrid technology - to slightly improve fuel use and emissions without impacting power, torque and capability.
That engine will eventually give way to a more planet-friendly alternative — likely the Hybrid Max powertrain, which uses a turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a rear-axle-mounted electric motor — but diesel should stay, at least in the short term.
So stay calm and carry on. There's a new Prado coming. And I suspect you'll be happy you waited for it.