Toyota’s new 300-Series LandCruiser is set to drop its eight-seat capacity and instead be limited to carrying seven. But it will take more luggage and gear than the 200-Series it will replace thanks to an intense focus on reducing weight.
Regulatory filings with the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development ahead of the late-2021 on-sale date show the new LandCruiser 300-Series is about 200kg lighter than the model it replaces.
Part of those weight savings has been achieved by reducing the seating capacity, with Toyota certifying three new LandCruiser models to carry five people and two to take seven people. That’s down from the eight-seat total that has been part of the LandCruiser sales pitch for decades.
With a gross vehicle mass of 3280kg – 70kg less than the 200-Series – it means the new LandCruiser has a higher payload, addressing one of the common complaints of the outgoing model.
That means the 300-Series will be able to carry between 735kg and 870kg, well up on the 610-710kg of the current car. Not that the new LandCruiser is much different size-wise compared with the 200-Series.
Toyota has initially certified five 300-Series models for sale locally. Three of them are 4980mm long – 10mm shorter than the 200-Series – but with an identical 1980mm width. The 2850mm wheelbase is similar between new and old.
The sportier GR Sport has a unique 4995mm length and 1990mm width, indicative of styling add-ons and its unique bumpers as part of the more focused off-road kit.
There’s also another model 5015mm long and could potentially be the new luxury-focused model that could bring in the Sahara ZX nameplate Toyota registered last year. That model also comes with 20-inch wheels, the largest ever fitted to a LandCruiser. One area of contention with the LandCruiser faithful is likely to be skinnier tires.
Even those 20-inch units on the Sahara ZX are 265mm wide, some 20mm narrower than those fitted to all LandCruisers today. All other models will come standard with 18-inch tires measuring 265mm wide and with a 65-series profile.
But for the base LandCruiser 300-Series, Toyota has also certified an optional 245/75 17-inch tire that has presumably been designed for more serious off-road work or specific applications such as farming or mining fleets. That base model – likely to retain the GX nomenclature – will likely get a snorkel for deep water crossings.
Ground clearance has increased by about 10 percent to 245mm, part of the toolkit to improve the off-road prowess of one of Australia’s most loved four-wheel drives.
As expected, the only engine to be offered in Australia with the new LandCruiser is a new 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 diesel making 227kW and 700Nm, well up on the 200kW/650Nm of the V8 in the current car. It is matched to a new 10-speed automatic.
A Toyota Australia spokesman would not comment on details about the new LandCruiser but said, “information on the model grades and line-up will come out in due course”.