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Safety boost for Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series

Crunching numbers: Australians have bought more than 250,000 of Toyota’s tough and rugged LandCruiser 70 Series vehicles since it first launched here in 1984 (pictured).

Toyota gunning for five-star ANCAP rating in 2016 with updated LandCruiser 70 Series

Toyota logo23 Sep 2015

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

IT MAY have a tough image, but the LandCruiser 70 Series will reveal a softer side in the second half of next year when it is updated with a raft of safety features aimed at achieving a maximum five-star ANCAP rating for single-cab ute variants.

As the range’s top-selling body format, single-cab ute versions will receive curtain and driver’s knee airbags - on top of the already standard driver and front passenger airbags - with the entire range including dual-cab, wagon and troop carrier body styles gaining standard electronic stability control, brake assist and cruise control.

The new features supplement the anti-lock brakes introduced in 2012 and the driver and front passenger airbags that were added in 2009 along with steering wheel reach adjustment and Bluetooth.

Additional safety measures are increasingly a requirement of mining fleets, with resources giants like BHP and other fleet operators mandating five-star ANCAP ratings for new vehicles.

Toyota Australia executive director of sales and marketing Tony Cramb announced the updates to mark 30 years since the 70 Series went on sale locally, describing it as “an unapologetically rugged vehicle that is renowned for its heavy-duty capabilities”.

Mr Cramb said the latest safety update “secures the future of the 70 Series for customers who require a vehicle with an unrivalled reputation for class-leading mechanical reliability and serious towing, load carrying and off-road performance”.

“Added safety features build on LandCruiser's 'always get you home' ethos and will be highly valued by people who rely on the 70 Series in harsh and remote work environments around Australia,” he said.

The LandCruiser nameplate is Toyota’s oldest, dating to 1954 when the BJ off-roader that began production in 1951 was renamed. Some of the earliest examples sold in Australia went to construction magnate Sir Leslie Thiess for use on the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric project.

Current-shape 70 Series models were introduced to Australia in March 2007, with the range-wide fitment of a new 4.5-litre V8 turbo-diesel engine and a wagon variant to supplement the larger troop carrier among headline changes.

The 32-valve, 151kW/430Nm diesel V8 was initially exclusive to the Australian market, which was also at the front of the queue to receive the range’s first dual-cab ute variant in September 2012.

Sales of LandCruiser commercial vehicles have dipped 4.7 per cent to the end of August this year, with 4490 registered.

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