Four-cylinder LandCruiser 70 Series on the way
BY PETER BARNWELL
IF YOU are ute driver who places more importance on accessible torque, lower running costs, and an automatic transmission, and don’t need a ute that sounds like a diesel/electric locomotive, then the new Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series 2.8 could fill the bill admirably.
The 70 Series with its Hilux-sourced 2.8-litre four0cylinder turbo diesel engine will be available from the end of the year at an as yet unknown price.
However, if you look at what the V8 LC70 goes for – with a starting point of $72,550 for the single-cab Workmate and rising to $79,200 for the dual-cab GXL – then you get a pretty good idea where the LC70 2.8 may be pitched.
And that’s likely to be sub-$70k putting it under the top of the Range Hilux Rogue. Toyota has left a gaping hole in the Hilux dual cab price schedule between the SR5 and Rogue… $10,000, which suggests a slot for the LC70 2.8.
Which leads to another vexed question, do you go for the top tier Hilux with all the bells and whistles or the LC70 four banger with the same power and a more off road, work truck focus?
It’s a difficult call for sure but there’s no denying the appeal of the old LC70 “truck” that has been around for decades with minor upgrades along the way and with a torquier engine, auto transmission and a lower purchase price, the old dog looks even more tempting.
Apart from the bouncy truck suspension, ocean liner turning circle and 1970’s interior…
Without driving it, the LC70 2.8 will likely be a good thing certainly better than the slow, five-speed manual only V8 that is a pig to tow with, requires a downshift to get up highway hills and consumes prodigious amounts of diesel.
Changes wrought over the years have improved it a bit but we could never understand why the twin turbo V8 out of LandCruiser 200 Series… and the auto transmission never made it across to the “Wally the worker” ‘Cruiser.
Which seems irrelevant now that the 2.8 with auto is available in the LC70…
Along with the powertrain changes, the LC70 four gets refreshed styling, a new multimedia system and additional safety and convenience features.
The 2.8 will be offered across the LC70 line-up, which will continue to arrive in the choice of four body styles and in three grades.
The trusty 151kW (at 3400rpm) and 430Nm (from 1200 to 3200rpm) 4.5-litre V8 turbo-diesel and five-speed manual combination will continue to be offered concurrently, giving buyers what Toyota says is “more choice for this iconic four-wheel drive model”.
The 2.8 is good for 150kW of power at 3400rpm and peak torque of 500Nm between 1600 and 2800rpm, 70Nm more than the found in the larger capacity V8.
The unit will be offered in Workmate, GX and GXL single-cab utility and Workmate and GXL double-cab utility models, and in Workmate and GXL Troop Carrier and Wagon variants.
Visually, the updated LC70 boasts a redesigned front-end that draws inspiration from the 40 Series of the late 1960s. The interior is likewise revamped to “accommodate a number of substantial feature upgrades”.
These include a new instrument cluster with 4.2-inch multi-information display between the analogue dials, and a centre console that offers improved ergonomics and amenity. The multimedia system is also updated, the 6.7-inch touchscreen unit now compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Toyota has also improved the safety technology offered in the LC70 with lane departure alert, speed sign recognition and auto high beam “as part of the Toyota Safety Sense suite of advanced driver assistance features”.
Toyota Australia president of sales, marketing and franchise operations, Sean Hanley, said the updates demonstrate Toyota’s commitment to continuing to meet the needs of Aussie customers.
“The LandCruiser 70 Series has built up a loyal and passionate fan base with customers drawn to its rugged styling and legendary off-road performance and this substantially upgraded model builds upon those strengths,” he said.
“Now with a new powertrain including an automatic transmission for the first time, along with the significant increase in safety and convenience technology, the LC70 is an ideal vehicle for those working on the land or as a tool of trade and recreational users heading off on an outback adventure.”
We’ll keep you posted as more information on the LC70 2.8 becomes available after its Q4 launch.