The Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series will disappear from Australian showrooms within a few months – creating a sales blackout before the next-generation Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series is due to arrive later this year.
CarAdvice has created an artist impression of how the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series could look (above and below), however with no spy photos to base them on, they are our best guess so far.
It is unclear when the new model will be officially unveiled, but Toyota dealers are hopeful all will be revealed by the middle of this year, so they can start ordering stock.
The current-generation Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series has sold better than expected which has led to stock running out earlier than planned.
Toyota had increased production from the middle of last year to carry enough showroom stock through 2021 until the new Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series arrives.
However, the sharp rise in demand as Australians holidayed at home in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, has soaked up any excess stock.
The latest figures show Toyota LandCruiser sales more than doubled in December 2020 compared to the same month the prior year (up 128 per cent) and deliveries were up by 9.2 per cent for the full year – in a market that was down by 13.7 per cent.
This sudden and unexpected surge in demand for the Toyota LandCruiser has exhausted the stock that was intended to last well into 2021.
The original plan was to create a smooth changeover to the new Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series, but it now seems likely there will be a blackout in showrooms – as well as in production.
Exact timing and other key details regarding the new-generation Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series remain under wraps for now.
However there is widespread speculation the turbo diesel V8 in the current model will be replaced by six-cylinder power.
After a 14-year run, the current-generation Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series is due to reach the end of the line by late February early March.
At that point, Toyota insiders claim, the factory changeover to the LandCriuser 300 Series will take several months.
Based on this timing, the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series is not due in Australian showrooms until the second half of this year.
Toyota Australia has called “last drinks” on the runout Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series, informing the dealer network there are no more production slots available before the model is phased out – and they can only order stock already on its way or in the system.
Some dealers have a small number of GXL, VX and Sahara LandCruiser 200 Series that remain unsold – however all 400 examples of the Horizon limited edition are accounted for and are expected to be among the last batch built in February.
Toyota dealers have told CarAdvice they have no official information, technical details or timing for the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series, but many have succumbed to the speculation the turbo diesel V8 is dead and will be replaced by a turbo diesel V6, so the vehicle can meet future emissions standards.
A hybrid version of the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series is expected to follow, but it is believed to be some years away.
Toyota has never built a turbo diesel V6 before. There is a possibility the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series could adopt a BMW inline six-cylinder turbo diesel engine (following the tie-up between Toyota and BMW on the Supra). However, Toyota insiders claim this is unlikely given the iconic status of the LandCruiser.
Meanwhile, the fate of the V8 diesel in the Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series remains unclear. Some industry insiders have speculated Toyota has stockpiled turbo diesel V8s to keep this model running for some time yet, before switching to V6 turbo diesel power.
Although nothing has been confirmed publicly, if history is a guide the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series and updated versions of the 70 Series will share related powertrains in the near future.
When the LandCruiser 200 Series arrived 14 years ago with V8 power, the 70 Series range switched also to V8 diesel power within months.
Top of the list for diehard Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series fans is a wider rear wheel track (to match the front wheel track, to make the vehicle safer and more stable in deep ruts) and the option of an automatic transmission. However, an automatic has never been offered as a factory option in the Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series range.
In a press conference yesterday, Toyota Australia president and CEO Matthew Callachor said: “One of the factors that appears to be contributing to the recent upswing in new-car sales is that our international borders are closed.”
Toyota cited Austrade figures that showed Australians spent $26 billion more travelling overseas in 2019 than foreign visitors spent in Australia over the same period.
“Forced to scrap international holidays, many Australians who would normally be travelling (overseas) are instead ready to explore their own backyard,” said Mr Callachor. “And many of them are buying new vehicles to ensure their family road trips are as comfortable and as safe as possible.”