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Last week’s Australian International Motor Show saw the début of Toyota’s all-new LandCruiser wagon. The completely redesigned Toyota will signify the biggest change to the LandCruiser wagon in 10 years.

Toyota has replaced the 4.2-litre six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with a twin-turbo 4.5-litre V8 diesel that pumps out more than 190kW and an enormous 600Nm of torque.

Toyota says that despite the massive power output, the new engine uses less fuel than the previous model. However if Diesel is not your thing, the new LandCruiser 200 Series, which is destined for Toyota showrooms in November, is also available with a 4.7-litre petrol V8.

According to Toyota Australia’s senior executive director sales and marketing, David Buttner, Toyota owed much of its strong market position in Australia to the reliability and capability of LandCruiser over almost 50 years.

“It has helped us forge a strong connection with Australia, as a result, Australia has also played a significant part in developing the latest generation of what is rightly regarded as the king off the road.” he said

Toyota has equipped the LandCruiser with the latest gearbox technology in its arsenal. Both diesel and petrol variants are available with intelligent automatic transmissions with sequential shift – six-speed for diesel and five-speed for petrol.

2008 Toyota LandCruiser Wagon

Both gearboxes feature Artificial Intelligence Shift Control (AISC) – software which determines the appropriate gear ratio by calculating road conditions and predicting the driver’s intentions.

The new LandCruiser has also met the safety inspectors which has led to a stronger body structure while Vehicle Stability Control (VSC – ESP) is standard on all variants.

Up to 10 airbags are offered including front, side and knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, side airbags for the outboard second-row seats and curtain shield airbags for all three rows.

There will also be a four-zone climate-control air con, allowing first and second-row passengers to set individual climate controls on both sides of the vehicle – with air being distributed through 28 vents!

Additional new standard features include

  • Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), for greater stability on all surfaces and an extended suspension stroke in off-road driving;
  • “crawl control”, a world’s first – a system for negotiating surfaces such as rocks, sand or steep hills (petrol models only);
  • Torsen® limited-slip centre differential;
  • Multi-terrain anti-skid braking system.

Other new features include Smart Entry and Smart Start, Bluetooth™ mobile-phone connection, satellite navigation and steering wheel controls, however they are not available on all grades. Toyota will release full details of the new LandCruiser in November.