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Toyota to end V8 production for LC70

LandCruiser 70 Series range now four-cylinder only, manual here later this year

8 Jul 2024

TOYOTA Australia has announced that it will end the production of the majority of its V8-powered LandCruiser 70 Series models from September this year, with availability of 79 Series GXL (single- and double-cab) offerings to continue “well into next year”.


From that point on, the LandCruiser 70 Series will be offered only with four-cylinder power, the model to be enhanced by the availability of a five-speed manual gearbox from October 2024.


Toyota Australia will not take any new orders on V8-powered LandCruiser 70 Series models and will work to fill the “considerable” backlog of existing orders on a first come, first serve basis until such time as the current allocation is exhausted.


Order-taking for the 1VD-FTV series 4.5-litre turbocharged diesel V8 engine has been on pause for almost two years, perhaps a signal of the unit’s demise.


The engine has proved a popular choice for Australian buyers, with 171,010 examples sold since 2007 – or around half that of all LandCruiser 70 Series models since its 1985 introduction (346,742).


“V8 production for Australia will end in September for all variants except the high-demand 79 Series GXL cabs – that’s the V8 wagon, Troopy, and the entry WorkMate and mid-range GX pick-ups,” said Toyota Australia vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations Sean Hanley.


“Final deliveries of those variants will be in customer hands by the end of the year.


“For the GXL single- and double-cabs, V8 production is set to continue well into next year with customer deliveries to be completed within the fourth quarter of 2025.


“As a logical consequence of these production decisions, we will not be reopening orders for the V8 70 Series LandCruiser.


“Instead, out of respect for those customers who have already placed orders – and we know many of them have been waiting a long time – our single-minded focus is to get the maximum possible V8 allocation from the factory and deliver them to customers as quickly as possible.”


Mr Hanley said the decision to kill-off the V8 LandCruiser 70 Series was made well before the announcement of the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) and comes in response to what he described as “community expectation” around more efficient and lower emission offerings.


“It’s not very difficult to work out why we’re bringing down the curtain on the V8. Changing regulations and, more importantly, community expectations made it inevitable. It was only a matter of time,” he stated.


“As a dyed-in-the-wool Toyota man, I can understand why some people may regret this landmark decision … put simply, if there was a better fit-for-purpose engine for towing, for carrying loads, or for negotiating the toughest terrain over the past 17 years I certainly haven’t driven it.”


Citing changes that have included the shift toward electrification and more powerful small capacity engines, Mr Hanley suggested buyers will continue to see the benefits the LandCruiser 70 Series can offer despite its smaller HiLux-sourced 2.8-litre engine.


“What we have learned is that sometimes you just have to accept that certain things will never go back to how they used to be,” he said.


“The message, however, is clear … if vehicles deliver the capability and the practicality required Australian buyers will move toward them, Australians will buy them.


“In the case of the 1GD (four-cylinder turbocharged diesel) engine, Toyota both here and in Japan was determined to return the loyalty shown by our miners, our farmers, and our remote-area workers by devoting significant resources to ensure the long-term future of this go-anywhere vehicle.


“The alternative was to walk away from this model. But let me reassure you, that was never an option.”


While he would not be drawn on a specific number, Mr Hanley said there will be customers that will miss out on having their V8 LandCruiser order fulfilled.


“We want to satisfy as many customers as possible, and our dealers are working with those customers to secure their preferred vehicle,” he said.


“Some of them are moving toward the four-cylinder, and now that we’ve got a four-cylinder manual coming that may be advantageous for them. But if they wish to stick to their V8 order that’s fine.


“We’ll have a better understanding of the number of V8s available for Australian customers when final production is allocated in the next few months.”


Mr Hanley would not indicate the percentage of orders for four-cylinder LandCruiser 70 Series models as against those of the V8, saying simply “Clearly there is still a preference for V8s. We can’t hide from that. That is reality,” he admitted.


“While it is on the market and while people are waiting, that’s justified … I would suggest that demand for four-cylinder models is healthy (and) we have a three- to six-month waitlist on that vehicle.


“Of course, the other side of this coin is that people want the V8. We understand that, and we understand that it is going to take some time for people to move (to embracing the four-cylinder). But what we are finding is, that once they drive the four-cylinder, they (do) move to it.”


The V8-powered LandCruiser 70 Series will remain available in markets outside of Australia, but now has a clear expiry date Down Under – and one that will bring with it an obvious rush for final-production vehicles.


On that note, Mr Hanley said dealers were on notice that Toyota Australia would be monitoring closely any attempt to profiteer from the V8's final days.


“We will be speaking to our dealers, and we will be putting very strong processes in place to ensure that those customers who have got orders in place are prioritised,” he affirmed.


“Obviously, the value of these cars is going to go up incredibly overnight. We are acutely aware of the behaviours that could be brought on because of this and we are going to put in place very strong processes to negate those behaviours.


“My advice to anyone waiting is do no pay over retail. Do not do it.”


The bespoke H153 series five-speed manual gearbox that will be offered in the LandCruiser 70 Series from October has unique gear ratios and additional components Toyota says suit its high torque and tough customer usage.


It has been calibrated with shorter first-, second- and third gear ratios to aid off-the-line performance, while a triple synchronisation mechanism has been added to the first gear to promote smoother changes.


A longer fifth gear helps improve fuel economy as well as reducing engine noise at highway speeds.


A flywheel compatible with a 12-inch clutch has been newly adopted, ensuring excellent engagement and maximum delivery of power to the road.


In addition to durability-focused engine measures applied with the introduction of the four-cylinder engine late last year, manual variants are equipped with a dust seal to the rear end plate to prevent foreign matter entering the release bearing.


Most other standard features are shared across both four-cylinder powertrains. A front console box and Downhill Assist Control are available only on automatic variants.


More information including pricing and fuel economy statistics for the updated four-cylinder Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series range will be announced closer to the model’s October debut.


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