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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
StartcarsSign of hope! Toyota Land Cruiser to return to the US market

Sign of hope! Toyota Land Cruiser to return to the US market

The world-iconic Toyota Land Cruiser off-road SUV is the automaker's oldest model, dating back to 1951, but is no longer available in the United States as of last year.

Now there's a new global Land Cruiser, the J300 series, and we even have the Lexus LX luxury SUV based on the same global model.

However, our options may be expanding beyond Lexus once again in a few years, according to Jack Hollis, executive vice president of sales for Toyota Motor North America.

The possible return of the Toyota Land Cruiser to the United States

In an interview with MotorTrend following the news of the all-new 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander three-row SUV, Hollis was asked if a historic nameplate like the Land Cruiser would return to the States, and the response was promising.

"Any time? I would say probably yes. Obviously, the Land Cruiser is such an important part of our heritage and it has done a great job. And I will be looking into it for sure. I saw projects, thoughts and hopes, yes. But nothing to advertise. It's still a long way off," said Hollis, when asked if the model's return would be in the foreseeable future.

It's certainly not confirmed, but it's a much stronger response than we expected.

The current global Land Cruiser is built on the new GA-F body structure based on its TNGA platform, from which the current Lexus LX is also built.

Focused on the North American market, the new fourth generation LX SUV received a significant update recently.

Its 3.4-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine boosted power to 28 horsepower and 78 lb-ft of torque, now totaling 409 hp and 479 lb-ft, and is linked to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Toyota said the new platform lowered the center of gravity with better weight distribution; the overall Land Cruiser also lost 441 pounds in weight.

However, it looks like we should look beyond the current J300 Land Cruiser series to whatever the next-generation model is, which will almost certainly need to be electrified, whether it's hybrid or fully battery-electric.

Toyota's EV plans are reportedly in flux with the automaker dedicating more resources to streamline its EV offerings.

Still, Hollis' comment is a promising start to what's next, and it looks like they still have some confident ideas for the next Land Cruiser at the very least.

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