JOHANNESBURG - The eagerly awaited Land Cruiser 300 is set for an August debut on local soil. Following months of speculation, concept renderings and spy-shots, the first production models are ready to be shipped to eager buyers. On the design front, the '300' features a dramatically different profile to Its '200' predecessor. While the design is unmistakably angular in execution, which Toyota says creates a cohesive form that offers far greater dynamic presence with a sense of agility. In profile the newcomer bears a passing resemblance to the much-loved 80-series of the '90's - keeping the classic two-box look.
The front end features a large and prominent radiator grille with sculpted rectangular headlamps on each side, that blend seamlessly into the grille. U-shaped radiator openings underpin a strong design while the bonnet features the signature Land Cruiser 'channel' down the centre. The rear features large trapezoidal taillamps with stylised light guides which are complemented by large Land Cruiser lettering and the Toyota Insignia.
The Land Cruiser 300 serves as the flagship to the Toyota SUV-range, and carries an enviable reputation as the 'Master of Africa'. The '300' model is a 'ground-up' design, featuring an all-new TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform designated as TNGA-F. The F indicates the first ladder-frame execution of TNGA - a fact that should find favour with off-road enthusiasts.
An all-new engine line-up propels the newcomer; buyers have the choice of a 3.5-litre V6 Twin Turbo petrol engine or 3.3-litre V6 Turbodiesel. Both powerplants focus on delivering increased efficiency, improved torque output and elevated levels of refinement versus the outgoing V8 variants.
The petrol V6 offers 305kW at 5200rpm with 650Nm available from 2000rpm, while the new diesel delivers 225kW at 4000rpm with a 'stump-pulling' 700Nm available between 1600 and 2600rpm. Top speed is pegged at 210km/h for both variants. The new engines are mated to a new slick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission with low-range functionality. Fuel consumption figures are listed as 12.1l/100 km for the petrol model and 8.9 l/100km for the diesel version - with carbon dioxide emissions checking in at 291 and 238 g/km respectively.
The Land Cruiser 300 also introduces a new grade line-up, namely GX-R, ZX and GR-S. GX-R remains the utility-focussed model and serves as the entry point to the range, while the ZX replaces the VX-R as the luxury model.
For the first time on Land Cruiser, a GR Sport (aka GR-S) grade will be offered which serves as the off-road performance model. As such the GR-S features bespoke exterior styling and trim, rugged 18-inch alloy wheels, while adopting an off-road-biased specification list - without skimping on any comfort or convenience, they say. This model joins the other Gazoo Racing (GR) products, and expands the GR brand into Land Cruiser territory for the first time. The ZX model in turn takes on a more 'image-focused' persona, with unique 20-inch alloy wheels, chrome detailing and luxury-oriented interior trim. The Land Cruiser 300 range thus offers three distinct character profiles to choose from - Utility, Luxury and Sporty.
All models boast a comprehensive specification level including LED headlamps with integrated DRLs, keyless entry with auto-door-lock, park distance control, an electric parking brake, climate control with rear zone, power driver-seat adjustment, Multi-Information Display (MID), built-in Navigation (with Tracks 4 Africa support on GX-R), multiple power outlets with charging port, Crawl Control and Drive Mode Select.
The ZX and GR-S additionally feature power fold-down third-row seating, a power-operated back door with hands-free function, heated steering wheel with wood accents, JBL 14-speaker audio system with DVD playback and 31cm screen, Multi-Terrain Monitor with Panoramic View, seat heating and ventilation for first- and second-row passengers, a wireless charger and tyre pressure monitoring. All models have Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality.
The ZX model adds a Wi-Fi enabled rear-seat entertainment system with wireless headphones, while the GR-S model features a high-tech E-KDSS system to maximise off-road capability. Both variants also feature additional drive mode select modes and a Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system for superior vehicle control.
E-KDSS is an evolution of Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which links the wheels via hydraulically-supported stabiliser bars - providing improved wheel articulation and body-roll control. The advantage of the E-KDSS system, they say, is the ability to lock the wheels together for excellent on-road handling and then unlock the stabiliser bars when required- to promote excellent wheel articulation (+30mm versus the current model) for off-road use. E-KDSS employs electronic control via the Vehicle Dynamics Module, to further enhance system response and versatility.
Toyota Safety Sense is fitted to both the ZX and GR-S grades and offers a full suite of active safety aids with autonomous driving technologies such as Lane Trace Assist and all-speed radar cruise control. The usual supporting functions such as Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Lane Departure Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) with braking, and Adaptive High Beam are also included. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Active Traction Control (ATRC) and Hill Assist Control (HAC), join Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Downhill Assist Control (DAC) and the obligatory ABS, EBD and Brake Assist (BA) driver support systems.
COLOUR AND TRIM CHOICES
The GX-R is available with two textile interior trims, Black or Neutral Beige. The ZX model offers buyers a choice of three interior colour schemes with Black, a Black and Dark Red combination or Neutral Beige being the options. The GR-S features GR-specific interior trim with a choice of either Black or a Black and Dark Red combo. Exterior colour choices include: Glacier White, Pearl White Metallic, Satin Silver Metallic, Graphite Grey Metallic, Raven Black, Attitude Black, Ruby Metallic, Avantgarde Bronze, Moonlight Ocean or Classic White depending on derivative.
SOUTH AFRICAN MODEL LINE-UP AND PRICING
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser 300 GX-R 3.3D - R1 283 200
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser 300 ZX 3.3D - R1 765 500
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser 300 ZX 3.5T - R1 797 100
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser 300 GR-S 3.3D - R1 811 900
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser 300 GR-S 3.5T - R1 842 900
Petrol ZX models will go on sale early August with the diesel and GR-S derivatives following shortly thereafter. All LC300 models are sold with a 9-services/90 000km Service Plan with service intervals set at 12 months or 10 000km (whichever occurs first). A 3-year/100 000km Warranty is included across the board. Customers can also purchase Service, Maintenance Plan and Warranty extensions from the dealer.