The Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series is as famous for its 4.5-litre V8 turbo diesel engine as its rugged, go-anywhere capabilities. But there’s a new power option under the bonnet for the 2024 update, and it has half the amount of cylinders.
Toyota has launched the upgraded 70 Series with the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine typically found in the HiLux ute. What’s more, it also gets the six-speed automatic transmission, rather than the five-speed manual that’s paired to the V8.
So does this new four-cylinder mean the end of the V8 70 Series? Not at all for Toyota Australia’s sales and marketing boss, Sean Hanley.
“We have no end date for V8,” he said, at this week’s launch of the new model in Broken Hill.
However, there is a catch – the V8 is not currently available to order, even though the four-cylinder is. That’s because the waiting times for a V8-powered 70 Series (which includes the single or dual cab ute, wagon and Troop Carrier) stretch beyond 12 months. Hanley wants to see that wait time reduced significantly before the order books re-open.
In the meantime, he believes the four-cylinder will convince would-be-V8-buyers to swap once they’ve experienced it. That’s because, despite its smaller capacity and cylinder count, the four-pot out-muscles the V8 – 150kW/500Nm for the 2.8-litre engine and 151kW/430Nm for the 4.5-litre.
“In my humble opinion, so it’s not necessarily right, the only thing preventing a V8 person going to a four-cylinder would be a psychological barrier,” Hanley said. “Once they drive a four-cylinder and realise its capability, I don’t think it will be a hard sell at all.”
Other changes for this 2024 version of the nearly four-decade-old off-roader include a new front end design, with circular LED headlights, a new 6.7-inch infotainment touchscreen that incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Downhill Assist Control, Lane Departure Warning and Road Sign Assist.
The high demand for the 70 Series range helps to explain its starting price of $75,600 for the 76 Series Wagon WorkMate and $76,800 for the 79 Series single cab chassis WorkMate ute. The range extends with GX and GXL variants of the various bodystyles, topping out at $87,600 for the V8-powered double cab chassis GXL ute.
While showing its age in places (such as the wind-up windows in the WorkMate and GX variants) Hanley said the 70 Series is here to stay.
“Indefinitely,” he said, when asked how long Toyota Australia planned to sell the model. “We certainly have no plans to drop LandCruiser 79 at all,” the Toyota chief said. “I’d hate to think that anybody thinks for one minute that we’d stop bringing these cars to market in Australia, that would be totally incorrect.”