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Future models - Toyota - LandCruiser 70

Toyota updating LandCruiser 70 in late 2016

LandCruise control: Toyota's functional, but ageing, LandCruiser 70-Series range is safe for now with a less polluting engine and more generous standard safety and comfort features, including five airbags and cruise control.

Safety and emissions tech update secures future for Toyota LandCruiser 70

Toyota logo28 Jun 2016

UPDATED: 30/06/2016TOYOTA has once again saved Australia's off-roader relic from the jaws of ever tightening safety and emissions regulation, with an update for its LandCruiser 70 Series due in the final quarter of this year.

The technical update will bring the critical electronic stability control (ESC) and reduced CO2 emissions the venerable model needs to comply with constantly evolving vehicle safety and environmental legislation, which has been honed through 100,000km of harsh Australian testing.

In addition to the ESC and 4.5-litre V8 diesel update, the Japanese car-maker is aiming to score a hat-trick and take home the 70-Series' first five-star ANCAP safety rating, thanks to the inclusion of curtain airbags and a driver's knee bag.

The timely update is in keeping with Toyota's just-in-time approach to maintaining the model's feasibility in the Australian market, and follows previous updates that brought the addition of driver and passenger airbags and ABS in the nick of time.

As part of its new suite of electronic stability programmes, from late this year all 70-Series variants will get hill-start assistance, brake assistance, electronic brake distribution (EBD) and cruise control, with 70 per cent of the local tuning performed off-road – its natural habitat says Toyota.

To meet looming Euro 5 diesel emissions standards, Toyota swapped out the V8's direct injectors for more efficient and responsive piezo versions along a corresponding management system re-map, although the company is not reporting how much CO2 has been reduced or if performance is affected.

In current trim, the big donk produces 151kW and 430Nm between 1200 rpm and 3200 rpm, while CO2 emissions stand at 304g/km.

Toyota says its hard working single cab, double cab, wagon and Troop Carrier LandCruiser is now even tougher, with thicker chassis side rails boosting durability as well as enhancing handling, stability and reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

The stiffer chassis is accompanied by a revision of the suspension set-up with local engineers tuning the spring and damper rates to match the new platform.

A shuffle of the LandCruiser's five manual gearbox ratios completes the update in the name of reducing fuel consumption and NVH levels, while giving the workhorse longer legs when cruising.

Unlike one of the 70-Series' key rivals, the Land Rover Defender which was put out to pasture earlier this year, Toyota is managing to safeguard the future of the iconic vehicle with a steadfast commitment of resources to the model, said Toyota Australia sales and marketing executive director Tony Cramb.

“The upgraded 70 Series LandCruiser range builds on this iconic vehicle's fit-for-purpose appeal with improvements that reinforce its heavy-duty abilities, durability and unapologetically rugged character,” he said.

“At the same time, it receives important safety and emissions updates that are required by many customers - as well as regulators - to enable Toyota to continue selling the 70 Series in the Australian market”.

Pricing has not yet been announced, but with a significant amount of equipment added into the 70 along with the associated development costs, it is likely the model will command a premium over the current pricing, which kicks off from $56,990 before-on road costs for the most utilitarian Workmate version.

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Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.