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Toyota LC 70 Series to carry on unchanged

Going nowhere: Despite a new-gen 200 Series LandCruiser replacement being around the corner, the 70 will remain the same.

Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series to be unaffected by incoming 200 Series replacement

9 Apr 2021

TOYOTA Motor Company Australia (TMCA) has confirmed that the upcoming replacement for the 200 Series LandCruiser will have no bearing on the future of its mechanically related 70 Series cousin.


Despite the as-yet-unrevealed LandCruiser (tentatively named 300 Series) moving to new V6-powered engines and reportedly a revised ladder-frame chassis, the work-oriented 70 Series range will continue on unaffected by its more family-friendly sibling’s model changeover.


Speaking to GoAuto, TMCA general manager of product planning and development Rod Ferguson said the 70 Series would keep on trucking for the foreseeable future.


“There’s no plans around changing anything for LC70, it’s still going great, there’s a customer base out there that just loves the car,” he said.


“We’ll always look at whether we can make enhancements to it or spec improvements, but we are a big market for LC70 – other parts of the world are not even interested in LC70, so we’re part of driving the continuation of that car, so it’s all pretty plain sailing for the LC70.”


Despite the 300 Series being tipped to switch to more powerful and cleaner turbocharged six-cylinder engines, the tried-and-true 1VD 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8 will continue to underpin the entire 70 Series range, mated to a five-speed manual transmission.


Most reports suggest the twin-turbo diesel V8 in the 200 Series will be swapped out for a range of six-cylinder engines in petrol, diesel and petrol-hybrid flavours, however the continuing production of the V8 for the 70 Series opens the door for TMCA to continue to offer the V8 for as long as the engine is compliant with emissions regulations, and if there is sufficient customer demand.


Following an update in 2016 that saw the addition of a diesel particulate filter, the 1VD V8 has held a Euro 5 emissions rating, the minimum requirement in Australia.


When asked whether TMCA could tweak the V8 to be Euro 6 compliant, Mr Ferguson said it would be a significant challenge to future-proof the 1VD engine.


“The Euro 6 would definitely be a challenge for LC70, there’s a juncture in time when Euro 6 comes, we don’t know when it is – let’s say it’s 2026 or 2027 – that we have to do something with that powertrain, it’s not going to comply right now,” he said.


“The powertrain would have to be enhanced, or swapped out, that is a true thing that’s coming towards us at some point.”


One potential future powerplant for the 70 Series could come from an unlikely source, with an all-electric mill potentially the answer for the rough and rugged range.


Toyota is currently running a prototyping project in conjunction with BHP with the test of an all-electric 79 Series single-cab pick-up for use in mining applications, which could potentially point to a new powertrain for the range.


Mr Ferguson said the program was still in its infancy, with any sort of mass-produced electric powertrain for the LandCruiser still years away.


“It’s currently in the early stages of prototyping, we’re working at the moment in purely mine-site applications so it’s not road homologated or registered, just a private property condition,” he said.


“And we’re hoping to build that up to some sort of program where we can hopefully supply, but right now it’s just in proto phase.”


No figures around power outputs or driving range for the prototype have been revealed yet by TMCA.


For reference, in 70 Series guise the 1VD 4.5-litre bent-eight produces an under-stressed 151kW/430Nm and is paired to the five-speed manual transmission, while the 200 Series steps things up to 200kW/650Nm with the addition of a second turbocharger and a six-speed automatic.


The 70 Series range can currently be had in four different body styles – the 79 Series single- and dual-cab pick-up, the 76 Series five-door SUV and the 78 Series high-roof Troopcarrier.


Through the first quarter of the year, Toyota sold a combined 8301 examples of the 200 and 70 Series range, a marked improvement over the 5144 units sold to the same point last year.

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