Another day, another tranche of details on the 2022 300-Series Toyota Land Cruiser. The model won't come to the U.S., the expectation being Toyota will opt to give us the more luxurious Lexus LX version. It's certain some of the tech appearing on the new Cruiser will make its way to other Toyota vehicles, though, so it's worth a look. The package rides on the new GA-F ladder-frame chassis platform that drops 441 pounds compared to the 200-Series architecture while also being 20% more torsionally rigid. Engineers also placed the new engines lower and further back in the body, giving the high-boy truck a lower center of gravity.
The Cruiser will offer seven trims in its various international markets: GX, AX, VX, GR Sport, and ZX. The diesel can only be optioned on the GR Sport and ZX trims, and the diesel versions along with the base GX trim will only come with five seats. The gasoline AX, VX, and ZX seat seven thanks to a third row of fold-flat seats.
On- and off-road manners spent some time in etiquette courses, leading to better dynamic behavior. The new high-mount double-wishbone suspension in front, and repositioned shock absorbers in back, are said to improve steering and braking stability, ride comfort, and maximize the contact patch during articulation. A mixed hybrid-electric steering system comes standard on the VX, GR Sport, and ZX to enable features like lane centering that's part of Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. It also makes for easier turning at low speed and damps some of kickback sent through the steering column by bumps and ruts. Adaptive dampers come standard on the GR Sport and ZX, and are a cost option on the other trims.
The engine bay swaps out the 5.7-liter V8 for either a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 gas engine or a 3.3-liter twin-turbo diesel. The gas-burner gets 409 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, the diesel is good for 304 hp and 516 lb-ft. Both work through a new 10 -speed transmission. Using the more forgiving European WLTP standard, Toyota says the Japan-spec gas truck gets 18% better fuel economy than the outgoing Land Cruiser, diesel fuel economy up a whopping 45% over the previous-gen.
The GR Sport identifies itself with a tweaked front bumper, "Toyota" spelled out on the grille instead of the Toyota badge, upright side intakes, deeper intakes around the grille and an unpainted cladding in the center that dives down to the forward skid plate. Around the sides are black trim pieces like door handles and rocker panels, the wheels are 18-inchers in Mud Gray. The GR Sport gets Toyota's new electrified Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (E-KDSS), a development of the Land Cruiser's 26-year-run in the production class at the Dakar Rally. The system automatically adjusts the front and rear stabilizer bars based on terrain conditions, allowing more stability on-road and more articulation off-road. Toyota says it improves "road-holding performance following jumps at medium to high speeds in undulating sections," because jumping Land Cruisers outside of the Dakar Rally is apparently a thing. All Cruisers come with a locking center differential, but the Land Cruiser GR Sport is the only trim to come with the electronic front and rear locking diffs. Other trims only offer an optional locking rear diff.
Inside, the start button will contain a fingerprint sensor, the first application of such in a Toyota. The standard infotainment system will include a nine-inch screen, the GR Sport will come with the larger 12.3-inch screen. On top of the additional terrain modes in Multi-Terrain Select, the Cruiser will be able to display around-vehicle views including an underbody view created from pictures the cameras have already taken. The front seats have been moved back slightly, leading to repositioned second and third rows that unlock extra luggage space.
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