Automotive

Published on August 2nd, 2021 | by Joshua Chin

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Toyota Officially Launches The New Land Cruiser In Japan

The bigger news here though is the debut of the first-ever Land Cruiser GR Sport. 

Despite having already made its world premiere a couple of months back in the Middle East, Toyota actually hasn’t officially unveiled its latest and greatest Land Cruiser in its home market yet. Until today that is, as the Japanese auto giant has finally announced the launch of the 300 Series SUV in all its right-hand drive glory over in Japan. 

Now while this is certainly welcome news to the East Malaysians who can’t wait to import one of these SUVs over here, there is nevertheless some rather bigger (and more exciting) news to come with the Land Cruiser landing in Japan recently. And that comes in the form of Toyota debuting its first ever Dakar-developed GR Sport variant of this off-roader. 

Focusing primarily on this newly launched GR Sport variant here first, the most obvious distinction that distinguishes this trim level of 300 Series Land Cruiser from the rest will naturally be its butcher front and rear fascias. Featuring a custom radiator grille and bumper up front, this spec of SUV rather evokes the no-nonsense look of its 80 Series predecessor. 

Exclusive too to this GR Sport Land Cruiser are a custom rear bumper with a special rear mudguard and black rocker mouldings, not to mention unique 18-inch grey-painted alloy wheels and black wheel arch extensions to enhance its macho aesthetic. A smattering of special black decals and emblems, as well as black door mirror caps also make an appearance on this off-road ready spec of SUV. 

Moving on inside meanwhile, the GR Sport Land Cruiser nets some new front seats and a couple of new black and red interior upholstery combinations. Added to the mix too are a custom machined carbon-weave panels within the cabin of this SUV, not to mention a carbon-leather steering wheel and a special start up screen with some custom graphics. 

It is worth noting at this point though that that while GR Sport may seem like just an aesthetics package over the standard Land Cruiser, there is in fact far more than meets the eye. That is because Toyota has actually also added a couple of rather impressive off-road technologies to this particular variant too, like its exclusive Electronic-Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (E-KDSS) for instance. 

An apparent upgrade from the purely mechanical stabiliser adjustment system from the prior iteration Land Cruiser, Toyota will explain (at length) at how this new world’s first electronic setup will ‘automatically and electronically controls each front and rear stabilizer independently, reacting to road conditions and the individual conditions of each of the four wheels to provide more precise stabilization adjustments’. What is however all that is really needed to know about this suspension system though is that it has improved this 4×4’s ‘road-holding performance following jumps at medium to high speeds in undulating sections’.  

Apart from the fancy suspension, the GR Sport is also the only 300 Series Land Cruiser in the lineup to feature front and rear electronically-locking differentials. This is as opposed to the standard rear Torsen LSD that is available on the rest of the range. 

And speaking of the rest of the range, the Japan-spec Land Cruiser is much like what was premiered previously over in the Middle East. More information on which can be found in its prior unveiling linked here, not to mention too the extremely detailed press release below. 

Just as a brief summary though, the new 300 Series Land Cruiser sits atop a significantly stiffer TNGA-F ladder frame chassis than its predecessors. It is also some 200 kg lighter than the outgoing model too, and features either a 3.5-litre petrol or 3.3-litre diesel twin turbo V6 mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission under the hood. 

Turning towards the cabin, this new Land Cruiser nets several new luxury accoutrements like a 12.3-inch central infotainment display, a nanoe X air purifier, a SecurityStart fingerprint ignition system, as well as a host of active and passive driver aids. This latest Toyota SUV however should still be a bonafide off-road machine too, thanks to its Multi Terrain Select drive mode selector and a Multi Terrain Monitor off-road camera system. 

Prices in Japan for this 300 Series Land Cruiser starts from ¥5,100,000 (RM 200,000) for the base-spec 5-seat GX variant, before rising to ¥8,000,000 (RM 310,000) for the oil-burning GR Sport trim. Due to Toyota severely restricting the supply of these hot new SUVs however amid ‘global security’ concerns, don’t expect to see one on the roads of Borneo for at least another year. 

PRESS RELEASE: Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announced that it has launched its new Land Cruiser today, August 2.

Supporting lives, livelihoods, and more fulfilling lifestyles all over the world

Launched in August 1951, the Land Cruiser was originally known as the “Toyota BJ,” a four-wheel-drive vehicle equipped with a powerful engine. In the 70 years since, it has sought to deliver safety and security to diverse customers and other people involved with the vehicle.

All over the world, the Land Cruiser has supported lives, livelihoods, and more fulfilling lifestyles, and promised to take people anywhere and everywhere, and come back alive and safe. Now, the Land Cruiser’s essence of “reliability, durability, and off-road performance” has further evolved, based on the actual usage situations of its global customers. A cumulative total of approximately 10.6 million units―and more than 300,000 units a year―are being cherished by customers in 170 countries and regions all over the world.

Completely redesigned: Inheritance and evolution, easy to drive and difficult to tire

The new Land Cruiser 300 Series is a complete redesign of the outgoing 200 Series, which launched in 2007. Its development objectives are outlined below

  • Inheriting and evolving the Land Cruiser’s essence of “reliability, durability, and off-road performance”
  • Creating a riding experience that enables the driver to drive with ease on any type of road around the world without tiring easily

With these objectives in mind, Toyota retained the same frame structure, and allied it with the new GA-F platform, which is based on the TNGA philosophy. The vehicle’s identity has also been reshaped by merging cutting-edge technologies with technologies accumulated over many years.

The new Land Cruiser’s twin development themes of “inheritance and evolution” and “easy to drive and difficult to tire” are reflected in every aspect of the vehicle. An overview is provided below.

300 Series Land Cruiser Vehicle Outline

 

1. The GA-F Platform: a refined ride and improved environmental performance

    • Body and frame: high rigidity with a significant 200-kilogram weight reductionThe new Land Cruiser adopts an updated version of the traditional ladder frame. By utilizing the latest welding technologies, the high-rigidity (20% more rigid than the 200 Series) lightweight frame boasts improved collision safety performance, quietness, and ride quality.The body combines an increased number of high-tensile steel plates with an aluminum bonnet, roof, and door panels; the power train has been moved 70 mm rearward and 28 mm downward.

      These improvements have led to a significant reduction in body weight of approximately 200 kg, a lower center of gravity, and superior front-rear weight distribution. Together with an enhanced driving position, the new Land Cruiser delivers a ride more in tune with its driver’s intentions. The reduction in body weight contributes to improving Land Cruiser’s environmental performance.

    • Newly developed suspension: Refined on-road steering stability and outstanding off-road performance 

      In line with its updated platform, the new Land Cruiser features a newly developed high-mount double-wishbone front and trailing-link rigid-axle rear suspension system. The position of the rear shock absorbers has been optimized for improved ride comfort and steering stability.Modifying the location of the suspension arms has resulted in a stable body posture even when braking, while also improving wheel articulation―the ability of its tires to stay on the ground. These have led to superior off-road performance.The vehicle uses a new Linear Solenoid Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system, which controls shock absorbers’ damping force independently for each wheel in response to road conditions and driver operation, for improved steering stability and ride comfort. (Equipped as standard on the ZX and GR Sport grades)

    • A new structure for the Land Cruiser: Off-road durability and the needs of the timesHydraulic power steering with steering actuatorThe new Land Cruiser combines a hydraulic power steering system capable of withstanding use in harsh environments with an electric steering actuator. This not only enables the addition of steering support functions such as Lane Tracing Assist, but also delivers outstanding maneuverability at low speeds, reduced kickback while driving off-road, and a crisper steering feel. (Equipped as standard on the ZX, GR Sport, and VX grades)
    • Electronic Control BrakeThe new Land Cruiser is fitted with an electronic control brake system that detects brake pedal input to generate optimal braking force via its hydraulic brakes and achieve more linear braking. (Equipped as standard on the ZX, GR Sport, and VX grades)

    • Other functions designed to improve steering stability and maneuverabilityRear Torsen® LSDThe new Land Cruiser is equipped with Torsen® Limited Slip Differential (LSD) to guarantee outstanding rear wheel traction. When turning and accelerating, the system optimally distributes drive torque according to the load experienced by the rear-left and rear-right wheels, so providing superb levels of control.

      When driving straight, the system responds quickly to changes in road conditions for improved stability. (Equipped as standard on the ZX grade)

        • Support for off-road driving
        1. Multi Terrain Select: When driving off road, Multi Terrain Select provides support in road conditions in which it is easy to get stuck due to wheel spin, or it is easy to lose speed due to a lack of drive torque. Drivers can select one of six modes―Auto, Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow, and Rock―and the system delivers guaranteed off-road performance through the automatic and integrated control of drive torque, suspension, and brake hydraulics.The operational range of Multi Terrain Select has also been expanded to the high-range H4 mode, enabling it to be engaged in a wider range of off-road situations. In Auto mode, which assesses prevailing road conditions via a variety of sensor data and optimizes drive torque accordingly, the system delivers the appropriate off-road performance in line with the prevailing driving conditions, without the driver having to manually switch modes.
        2. Multi Terrain Monitor: Multi Terrain Monitor is a system that uses four cameras―positioned to the front, rear, and both sides of the vehicle―to help the driver check conditions around the vehicle. The driver can switch between images captured by each of the four cameras, and so check road conditions in blind spots.If the vehicle is stopped while the screen is displaying images from the front-facing camera, the driver can press an on-screen button to switch to Underfloor View. This uses past images taken by the front-facing camera before the vehicle was in its current position, to show what is currently beneath the vehicle. By superimposing the current car and tire position over this image, the driver can check underfloor conditions and front wheel position. A new view is also available: the car is made transparent, and an image showing the area around the rear wheels is magnified. This enables the driver to ascertain conditions around the rear wheels, and estimate distances to obstacles―invaluable when trying to free the vehicle from a stuck position, or exit a dead end. (Available as a manufacturer’s option, together as a set with the T-Connect SD Navigation System, on all grades except the GX grade)
        3. 12.3-inch display (a manufacturer’s option) with off-road display function: The new Land Cruiser comes with a dedicated off-road information display screen. By displaying inclinometer data, locking differential engagement, accelerator and brake work, and other information on a large screen, the driver can intuitively grasp the vehicle’s situation.

2. A new powertrain: delivering the power and the environmental performance appropriate to the new Land Cruiser

  • 3.5-liter V6 twin-turbo gasoline engine 

    The new Land Cruiser is available with a newly developed 3.5-liter V6 twin-turbo gasoline engine, with a maximum output of 305 kW (415 PS) and a maximum torque of 650 Nm. It combines the TNGA philosophy with the traditional reliability of the Land Cruiser.The direct-injection 4-stroke gasoline engine superior version with turbo (D-4ST) has a multi-hole direct injector, a longer stroke, and optimized valve angle positioning for high-speed combustion, and the high-efficiency twin-turbo delivers powerful torque at low speeds and outstanding supercharger response.

  • 3.3-liter V6 twin-turbo diesel engineThe 3.3-liter V6 twin-turbo diesel engine features various optimizations, such as to its piston combustion chambers, intake ports, and injectors. It combines a maximum output of 227 kW (309 PS) and a maximum torque of 700 Nm with outstanding fuel efficiency. From a driving perspective, the supercharger performance of the newly adopted variable-nozzle two-way twin-turbo promises thrilling acceleration in all manner of scenarios. The superb responsiveness of the single-turbo offers powerful acceleration at low speeds; at high speeds, the large intake volume of the twin-turbo contributes to smooth acceleration.
  • Direct Shift-10AT: Maximizing the performance of the V6 twin-turbo enginesLock-up is engaged at almost all speed ranges other than when starting to provide direct shift feel, while the use of 10-speed automatic transmission results in both smaller gear steps and wider gear ratios. Consequently, the transmission offers a comfortable and rhythmical ride, better fuel efficiency at high speeds, and improved starting acceleration and off-road performance.The Direct Shift-10AT also delivers drive torque characteristics and gear change timings optimized for gasoline and diesel engines respectively. For gasoline engines, the transmission provides a pleasing sense of acceleration that draws out relaxed torque characteristics even at high engine speeds; for diesel engines, it promises exciting torque even at low engine speeds. In this way, the Direct Shift-10AT guarantees instinctive and powerful acceleration for both gasoline and diesel engines.

3. Mobility and off-road performance-focused package, and a functionality-focused exterior and interior

  • Retains traditional off-road mobility and performanceThe new Land Cruiser retains the same total length and wheelbase length, and the same approach angle, departure angle, and ramp breakover angle as the previous generation, and so inherits the 200 Series’ ease of handling and off-road performance.As far as the cabin is concerned, the front seats have been shifted rearward, and the structure and positioning of the second and third rows has been revised. This has led to improved interior comfort, expanded luggage space capacity, and superior collision safety performance. In particular, the third row of seats can be retracted into the floor to make luggage loading and unloading easier; stowing and unstowing of the seats is motorized. (Motorized seat stowing and unstowing is equipped as standard on the ZX gasoline, GR Sport gasoline, and VX grades). 
  • An exterior that combines the toughness of a genuine off-roader with a level of sophistication suited to adultsThe design of the new 300 Series focuses on delivering off-road performance: it follows in the footsteps of previous generations of station wagon-type Land Cruisers by locating the cabin rearward on the body; both the radiator grille and the headlights are positioned high-up; and the lower parts of both front and rear bumpers are shaped to avoid obstacles.In addition, the incorporation of a large depression in the engine hood realizes improved collision safety performance and frontward visibility. A new exterior color, Precious White Pearl is also available. (Available as a manufacturer’s option on the ZX and GR Sport grades).

  • A user-friendly interiorAn instrument panel design and switch locations optimized for off-road functionalityThe interior of the new Land Cruiser is designed to provide a comfortable driving environment and promote smooth driving operations even in harsh off-road environments. Details are outlined below: 
      • The upper part of the instrument panel is horizontal, to make it easier to assess body attitude even amid drastic changes in road surfaces. In addition, in order to make it easier to verify vehicle conditions even in harsh road conditions, the panel uses six needle meters, positioned so they can be checked intuitively: speed, rpm, fuel, water temperature, oil pressure, and voltage.
      • A single dial is used to select Drive Mode, Multi Terrain, Down Hill Assist Control, and Crawl Control. The dial is optimally positioned so that it can be operated while viewing the monitor.
      • Switches are grouped according to type: driving and drive torque systems; audio system; and air-conditioning system. The layout of the switches is designed to ensure they can be intuitively operated even when driving off-road.

  • An interior that balances convenience and comfort
      • Both the front and second row of seats feature comfortable heated seats and seat ventilation. (On the ZX and GR Sport grades; on the VX grade, only the front seats)
      • The spacious and functional Center Console Box uses a two-sided opening structure, enabling it to be accessed from the driver’s seat, the front-passenger’s seat, and the rear seats. In addition, the interior is equipped with a cool box for chilling PET drinks bottles and other foods and beverages. (Available as a manufacturer’s option on all grades except the GX grade)
      • nanoe X, which is released from the driver’s side air outlet on the instrument panel and creates a comfortable interior air environment, is equipped to all grades as standard.
      • A high-resolution 12.3-inch widescreen touch display is available as a manufacturer’s option on all grades except the GX grade. The display is capable of showing navigation, audio, air-conditioning, and off-road performance data in an easy to understand manner.
      • The vehicle can memorize up to three personalized vehicle settings―covering driving position, interior settings, and display settings―enabling multiple drivers to conveniently select their own settings preferences.
      • The vehicle features Hands-Free Back Door, which enables drivers carrying a Smart Key to automatically open and close the back door simply by placing their feet under the rear bumper. (Equipped to the ZX grade as standard; available as a manufacturer’s option on the VX grade)

4. Safety and security functions befitting the latest-generation Land Cruiser

  • SecurityStart switch with fingerprint authentication for the first time on a Toyota vehicle

    A fingerprint sensor is located in the center of the start switch. To start the engine, a driver must carry the Smart Key, press on the brake pedal, and touch the fingerprint sensor in the center of the start switch. If the fingerprint matches one of the fingerprints registered to the vehicle, the engine starts; if it does not match, the engine does not start. (Equipped to the ZX, GR Sport, VX, and AX grades as standard; available as a manufacturer’s option on the GX grade)
  • Safety functions

      • The new Land Cruiser has adopted the latest Toyota Safety Sense active safety package with additional advanced functions. Two functions have been added to the pre-collision system that helps avoid a collision or reduce damage by detecting pedestrians (daytime and nighttime) and cyclists (daytime). The first is a function that detects oncoming vehicles at intersections and oncoming pedestrians crossing the street when the vehicle is turning in either direction. The second is an emergency steering assist function, which assists with steering and lane keeping and is triggered when the driver performs a steering maneuver to avoid collision.
      • Parking Support Brake helps mitigate collisions when parking or otherwise driving at low speeds; it is capable of detecting stationary objects to the front and rear, vehicles approaching to the rear, and pedestrians to the rear.
      • Plus Support controls acceleration when it detects excessive or mistaken application of the accelerator, whether or not there are obstacles. (Available as a dealer’s option)
      • Camera Wash Function, which is operated via the rear windscreen wiper switch, cleans dirt from the rear camera. (Available as a manufacturer’s option, together as a set with the Cold Weather Specification Bundle)
      • Blind Spot Monitor with parking alert function notifies occupants of potential danger when alighting from the vehicle.
      • ITS Connect establishes communications between the host vehicle and road infrastructure, and between the host vehicle and other vehicles; it notifies the driver of a variety of information, including the presence of cars and pedestrians in blind spots and approaching emergency vehicles. It also enables smoother vehicle tracking when cruise control is engaged. (Available as a manufacturer’s option on all grades)

Overview of Land Cruiser GR Sport model

Refined and developed at the Dakar Rally, the world’s toughest race―Improvements requested by participating drivers fed back directly into vehicle development

The Land Cruiser first participated in the Dakar Rally―known as the world’s toughest race―in 1995, and has continued to take part in the production car category in the more than 25 years since then.

For the new 300 Series Land Cruiser―and for the GR Sport model in particular―feedback from drivers participating in the rally was used for vehicle development; the goal was to implement improvements and create a vehicle that was secure, easy to drive, yet difficult to tire in even the harshest driving conditions, and thereby make “ever-better cars” through motorsports.

From the 2023 edition onward, Team Land Cruiser TOYOTA AUTO BODY is planning to participate in the Dakar Rally with an entry based on the 300 Series GR Sport.

By participating in the rally, the development team hopes to further evolve and improve the superb potential of the vehicle, and reflect these improvements in future production cars.

 

  • GR Sport-exclusive features
    1. Suspension
      • The world’s first Electronic-Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (E-KDSS) electronically controlled stabilization adjustmentsE-KDSS is a suspension control system that contributes to both increased driving stability in urban environments and superior off-road performance. It automatically and electronically controls each front and rear stabilizer independently, reacting to road conditions and the individual conditions of each of the four wheels to provide more precise stabilization adjustments.Alongside the implementation of E-KDSS, the new Land Cruiser features optimized spring constants and AVS for outstanding steering stability. It is also equipped with a significantly lengthened suspension stroke and the longest wheel articulation of any generation in the series.
      • Electronic differential lock (front) The GR Sport is equipped with both front and rear electronic differential locks, contributing to improved performance in a variety of off-road environments.

  1. Exterior features
      1. Special radiator grille
      2. Special front bumper
      3. Special rear bumper
      4. Exclusive wheel arch molding (Black)
      5. Rear Toyota emblem (Acrylic + Black)
      6. Special rear mudguards
      7. 18-inch aluminum wheels (Mud Grey color)
      8. Special emblem (front / side / rear)
      9. Special lower back door decals
      10. Special rocker moldings (Black)
      11. Special vehicle name emblem (Black color)
      12. Outdoor side door handles (Black)
      13. Door mirrors (Black)
  1. Interior features
      1. Special genuine leather-wrap steering wheel (machined carbon-weave pattern with GR emblem)
      2. Special start-up screen (when equipped with T-Connect Navigation System)
      3. Special front seats (with GR emblems)
      4. Interior decoration (machined carbon-weave panels)
      5. Interior color: GR-exclusive Black; GR-exclusive Black and Dark Red
      6. Smart Key (with GR emblems)

Land Cruiser Sales Outline

Unveiling event at dealers August 21-22, 2021

Production Plant

Frame production Honsha Plant, Toyota Motor Corporation

Assembly Yoshiwara Plant, Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Selling Price

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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