New Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series 2021 could be just the beginning: HiLux-style special editions studied for incoming icon

The incoming Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series could be in line for a HiLux-style local modification program, with the brand studying the possibility of putting the off-road icon forward for the Rugged X or Rogue treatment.

Toyota has a conversion and design facility in Port Melbourne, and the local team has been responsible for cooking up high-end HiLux versions like the Rugged X and Rogue.

For the Rouge, for example, the local design gave the then-new HiLux a bolder front-end, with a bigger grille and new fog lamps with chromed bezels. That design was so well received it was picked up globally for the SR and SR5 models that followed in 2018.

“When we styled the Rogue, we knew it was the right design for the growing top-end recreational ute market and our faith in that has now been borne out with the same face adopted on SR and SR5 HiLux models,” Toyota said at the time.

And with a new LandCruiser 300 Series around the corner, the question must be asked whether a similar program could be introduced for Toyota’s iconic off-roader. While the brand made it clear it had no announcements to make, its senior executives say they’re studying that very possibility.

“These kinds of activities are never ruled out. There are things we continue to look at and study, and we never rule out these possibilities,” says Toyota’s sales and marketing chief, Sean Hanley.

To give you an idea of possible upgrades, the Rugged X upped the HiLux tough-stuff cred by adding a heavy-duty steel front bar, bash plate, LED lightbar and driving lights and a new-look grille, along with a snorkel, side rock rails, front and rear recovery points and a new steel rear bar.

The program could possibly form a part of Toyota’s recent promise that the new 300 Series will out-punch the 200 Series in every conceivable way, with the brand promising a new-gen car will continue the LandCruiser’s legacy of improving power, torque, towing and capability with each new model.

“I’m immensely proud that LandCruiser has established a track record of continuing to improve its torque, its power, its towing and, of course, its off-road abilities. That what’s LandCruiser stands for,” says Mr Hanley.

“And I can assure you that any new-generation model will have the enhanced capabilities, and I am more than confident it will strengthen LandCruiser’s legend status.”

International reports continue to point to the new LandCruiser being offered with a number of new engine choices – though none of them a V8 – that is expected to begin in Australia with a V6 diesel. That engine is expected to be joined by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 engine, with a hybrid version of that engine expected to follow.

“The LandCruiser needs to be capable. It needs to be able to perform, drive, tow, as expected of a LandCruiser,” Mr Hanley says.

“It has a huge heritage. It’s a legend, actually, of capability in the Australian landscape. It’s clear that the number of cylinders are cubic capacity are not the only things that determine the powertrain performance.

“The powertrain of any future LandCruiser will be built to deliver. It will deliver on power, torque, towing and off- and on-road capabilities. And I am supremely confident that with whatever we do, it will continue to remain a very capable vehicle all round.”

The Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series is edging closer to its reveal, with a launch date in Australia expected in 2021.

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August 21, 2020 2:32 pm Published by