There’s something strange going on with the Toyota Land Cruiser: Huge sales spike ahead of 300 Series arrival sees ageing icon outsell the Mazda 3 and Toyota RAV4!

Toyota’s ageing off-road icons are experiencing an unprecedented sales boom, with the LandCruiser nameplate emerging as Australia’s fourth best-selling vehicle in June.

While the Toyota HiLux (6537 sales) and Ford Ranger (5329 sales) predictably led the charge last month, followed by the Toyota Corolla (3008 sales) in third spot. But in a scarcely believable fourth spot lurks the mighty LandCruiser, managing 2909 sales in June alone.

The split is made up of LandCruiser 70 Series pick-up and cab chassis models, which recorded 1388 sales – up a staggering 39.2 per cent on the same month last year. The LandCruiser wagon (a combination of 70 Series and 200 Series) managed 1521 sales, up more than 11 per cent on June 2019.

The spike is shrouded in mystery, with even Toyota thought to be uncertain exactly what’s driving demand. It is thought the 200 Series’ popularity could be driven by people wanting to secure an example before the new 300 Series arrives, while the 70 Series could be driven by business sales helped by tax incentives in the lead up to the end of the financial year.

Yet another culprit could be Australia’s borders, which are largely closed and look destined to stay that way for some time yet. That has seen people reconsider Australia as a driving destination – thought to be a driving factor behind theft that four of the five top selling vehicles in June were 4X4s.

We do know the 300 Series, expected to arrive next year, will spell the end of the 200 Series’ V8 engine, with the new car tipped to make use of a new V6 diesel in Australia. And despite Toyota’s promises capability won’t be impacted, people who want eight cylinders are likely rushing dealerships.

As reported in CarsGuide, once the ageing icon is gone, it’s gone. There is no plan to extend the 200 Series’ life once its replacement arrives. With the 200’s facilities to be retooled for 300 production, there will be no stay of execution for the V8-powered 200 Series.

But Toyota isn’t forecasting any stock issues for the 200, which is powered by 4.5-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel good for 200kW of power and 650Nm of torque, with the company suggesting there will no supply shortages, right up to the point the new model arrives.

Reports out of Japan have the 300 Series’ launch date shifting, with the vehicle originally expected to be revealed in July, but now reportedly pushed back to a circa-June 2021 launch internationally.

But we also know the new 300 Series LandCruiser’s shift to a V6 engine family won’t spell the end of eight-cylinder power for the broader range, with Toyota confirming there is “no plan” to retire the eight-cylinder engine from the iconic 70 Series.