Fears the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series would be less popular with die-hard fans of the nameplate seem pretty wide of the mark, with the brand reporting huge interest in the new model ahead of its official on-sale date.
It seems the 200 Series will soon be a fast-fading memory, with numbers obtained exclusively by CarsGuide revealing more than 10,000 Australians registered their interest for the new LC300 in just four weeks.
Toyota launched an offical Register Your Interest site for the LC300 in late June, inviting potential buyers to enter their details to be kept up to date with all things LandCruiser as we speed towards the offical launch in Q4 this year.
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The site has been live for just over five weeks, and so far more than 12,000 people in total have handed over their details.
Now it must be pointed out that these aren't pre-orders with a deposit, rather its people who are interested in learning more about the LC300, but Toyota is thought to be impressed with the number.
The bigger question is whether the brand will be able to keep up with demand, at least initially. In Japan, where pre-orders have topped 20,000, dealers are talking of year-long wait time, while the brand has launched a "pledge" designed to stop people on-selling their vehicles.
Toyota in Australia is yet to detail how many vehicles it has on order for Australia, and what supply will be like in its first 12 months on sale, but the model's popularity around the world will surely make things interesting.
Toyota has this week also confirmed the price and specification details for the new LC300, with the model to arrive in six trim levels, and attract price jumps of around $8,000 on equivalent LC200 models.
The new LC300 price list – MSRP, not drive-away – is as follows:
- GX: $89,990 (was $80,873)
- GXL: $101,790 (was $92,573)
- VX: $113,990 (was $103,273)
- SAHARA: $131,190 (was $124,273
- GR SPORT: $137,790
- SAHARA ZX: $138,790 (was $131,733 - Horizon)
All models are powered by the brand's new 3.3-litre turbo-diesel V6, producing 227kW and 700Nm, and which pairs with a 10-speed automatic, and all arrive with permanent 4WD and low range.
The brand has also confirmed fuel use for the new engine, with the LC300 to sip a claimed 8.9L/100km on the combined cycle, or 7.6 litres per 100km on the highway, and will deliver 3.5-tonne towing.
Billing the launch as a two-prong strategy (with the regular LandCruiser and the GR Sport), Toyota says the new-look model is the "absolute expression of the LandCruiser DNA"
"Our new GR Sport is the - the ultimate 4WD that is specially equipped for owners who truly love driving on rough trails and in off-road rallies," says Toyota Australia sales and marketing chief Sean Hanley.
"The graceful styling of the Sahara ZX adds an even more prestigious and advanced high-quality image for customers who use their LandCruiser primarily for urban driving and holiday getaways with their families.