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Toyota saves 70-Series Land Cruiser from chopping block

by Ronan Glon

The 70-Series Land Cruiser was introduced in 1984.

Toyota has announced that production of the 32-year old 70-Series Land Cruiser will carry on in the foreseeable future.

"It's an indefinite member of the Toyota family, it's a crucial and much-loved vehicle in Australia. It's iconic … and this update will solidify in a lot of people's minds that we're not giving up on the model. It's here and it's here to stay," affirmed Stephen Coughlan, a spokesperson for Toyota's Australian division, in a recent interview with Australian website Motoring.

The updated model that Coughlan referenced is expected to arrive before the end of the year. Built on a new frame, it will receive a revised version of the current model's 4.5-liter turbodiesel V8 fitted with new injectors, an exhaust system with a particulate filter, and a re-mapped ECU, as well as a completely redesigned manual transmission. The changes will improve fuel economy while reducing CO2 emissions.

Single-cab models will get side curtain airbags and a knee airbag for the driver. The updates are expected to earn the truck a five-star safety rating, which is remarkable considering it was introduced in 1984 and its basic design hasn't changed much since. Oddly enough, longer models will retain a three-star rating. All models regardless of body style come with hill start assist, electronic stability control, traction control, and cruise control.

It sounds like the 70-Series Land Cruiser is ready to pick up where the Land Rover Defender recently left off, but Toyota isn't planning on selling its most rugged off-roader in Europe. And, it goes without saying that the truck isn't returning to the United States, where it hasn't been sold since the 1980s.

If you want one, your best bet is moving to Australia, where the 70-Series Land Cruiser is still relatively popular. The current model carries a base price of AUD$56,990, a sum that converts to approximately $43,000.

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