This concept also teases for the Land Cruiser to be reinvented as a proper Range Rover rival.
While it has certainly matured in recent times, the venerable Land Cruiser however has always been one of few SUVs that have retained more of its traditional rugged roots. Such is evidenced by the fact that despite all the modern tech and luxury up top on the latest LC300 iteration, underneath it is still lies a resolutely beefy ladder-frame chassis after all.
Though it appears for Toyota to soon be ripping up its own established rule-book for its flagship SUV, as it has recently teased a rather radical redesign with what it dubs the Land Cruiser SE. Set to make its debut at the upcoming Japan Mobility Show, this new fully-electric 4×4 concept has turned the venerable Land Cruiser into an essentially full-on Range Rover clone.
Starting from the exterior design for instance, gone is the rugged and upright silhouette that has defined the Land Cruiser since its inception. Instead, this new fully-electric concept has adopted a more squat and svelte shape that is really not too dissimilar to the current iteration Range Rover.
The Range Rover cues continue on further as well, with this new Land Cruiser Se featuring a similarly slim full-width rear LED light bar design that mimics the rump of the Velar. Though the slab-fronted nose of this new Toyota is admittedly a more brutish affair relative to the more akin to its own BZ4X, than rounded versions on the aforementioned British SUVs.
Speaking of the BZ4X meanwhile, this new Land Cruiser Se might actually be more closely related to this Toyota crossover than the current SUV it shares a name with. And while a large part of it is because this new concept is fully-electric, it is nevertheless also partly due to the fact that the Land Cruiser Se has also shunned its traditional ladder-frame chassis for a monocoque shell too.
Add to that the seemingly low clearances and low profile tyres that are featured on this concept, it would appear that Toyota might be finally turning the venerable go-anywhere Land Cruiser into a full on Chelsea tractor. A hunch that is made even more plausible when the Japanese automaker themselves explicitly state in the press bumph of this concept that ‘BEV quietness helps create a comfortable cabin space when driving in urban areas and other on-road situations’.
But before lamenting the loss of the off-road nature that is so inherent with the Land Cruiser name however, it is worth highlighting that Toyota has also stated for this concept to still give ‘confidence in tackling rough terrain’. Going by how the current Range Rover is still rather excellent when taken off the beaten path too, it is therefore not entirely impossible to think that this new all-electric Japanese SUV would be the same if (or more likely when) it enters production.
It is worth remembering too that Toyota is in the business of making money, and there unfortunately is more money to be made in a road-biased SUV these days. Such is therefore perhaps why the Japanese automaker themselves have explicitly stated for this seven-seater concept to serve in broadening the Land Cruiser brand’s appeal and ‘caters to the world’s diverse needs’, and further emphasises that this EV can be driven quietly and comfortably in urban areas and other on-road situations.
This new Land Cruiser Se has been stated by Toyota to be around the same size as a current Range Rover, and is capable of seating 7 in its svelte and sleek body. Information regarding its EV powertrain and its production possibility however has not been officially revealed yet by the Japanese automaker, though more information will likely be announced when it officially debuts at the upcoming Japan Mobility Show 2023.