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Macho makeover for 2012 Land Cruiser

This is Toyota's facelifted-for-2012, much-more-macho Land Cruiser 200, just released in the Japanese domestic market, which will be introduced in global markets during 2012 - although Toyota SA, firmly in holiday mode, wouldn't be drawn on when it will be released in South Africa.

The big visual change is a muscled-up front end with a new, squared-off bumper incorporating new foglights, new headlight clusters with the obligatory LED running lights and a revised grille with chrome slats, emphasising its family connection with SA's biggest selling vehicle, the Hilux bakkie.

2012 Land Cruiser has more than a touch of squared-off Range Rover/Jeep styling.

There are also new mirrors with built-in indicator repeaters, revised tail lights and new alloy rims in 18 and 20” diameters.

The 4.6-litre V8 (235kW at 5600rpm and 460Nm at 3400rpm), auto tranny and permanent all-wheel drive are unchanged, but Toyota has updated the Multi-Terrain Select system, which re-maps the traction control and ABS for different driving conditions, and the 'crawl control', which acts like an old-fashioned hand-throttle for low-speed off-roading on difficult terrain.

The interior has been zhoozhed up with new colour options and trim materials, there's an upgraded display for the infoscreen between the main clocks and the clocks themselves get now, more legible graphics.

Prices in Japan range from ¥4.4 million (R460 000) to ¥6.3 million (R660 000); the current model sells in South Africa for R934 300, so you can expect this one to be hovering around the R1-million mark when it does get here.

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