The Toyota Land Cruiser is an automotive icon, known for its rugged capability and reliability in the harshest of environments. First introduced in 1951 as the Toyota BJ, it has evolved over the decades into a sophisticated and luxuriously appointed full-size SUV. However, one thing that has remained unchanged is its traditional body-on-frame construction and thirsty V8 engine. But with the auto industry quickly transitioning to electric vehicles, could an electric Land Cruiser be on the horizon?
While Toyota has yet to officially confirm an electric Land Cruiser, a stunning concept model unveiled recently at the Osaka Auto Messe show in Japan has fueled speculation that an electrified version could arrive soon. Dubbed the Land Cruiser Concept, it provides a vision of what a battery-powered variant could look like.
Sleek Yet Rugged Styling
The overall shape and proportions of the Land Cruiser Concept retain the classic silhouette of the current J200 series model. But the details have been thoroughly modernized and smoothed out for an elegant appearance. The grille is much smaller and the headlights and taillights are slimmer and more angular. Side steps are integrated cleanly into the bodywork and there is no visible exhaust pipe.
Despite the more refined look, the concept retains traditional Land Cruiser cues that signal its off-road credentials. The short front and rear overhangs, tall ground clearance, flared fenders, and available fog lights and underbody skid plate point to its go-anywhere capability. Large diameter wheels and wide tires also provide an aggressive stance.
Spacious, Tech-Laden Interior
Inside, the Land Cruiser Concept previews a radical redesign focused on comfort and technology. In place of the current model’s rugged utilitarianism is a wide, horizontal dashboard decked out with dual displays and finished in premium materials. A large panoramic glass roof enhances the airy and open feel inside.
Toyota says the vehicle has seating for four, but the production version could have a three-row layout to accommodate up to seven passengers. And given the packaging advantages of an EV platform, interior volume is expected to meet or exceed the already cavernous existing Land Cruiser.
The seats have a slim, sculpted design for increased room. And options like heated/cooled seats, multi-zone climate control, and an advanced infotainment system will cater to occupants’ every need during on- or off-road journeys.
Electric Powertrain with Improved Performance
Toyota has not released details on the Land Cruiser Concept’s electric powertrain. But as a large SUV, it will likely utilize an advanced high-capacity battery pack rated at 100 kWh or more. This would supply over 400 horsepower to all four wheels for vastly improved acceleration. The instant torque from standstill that electric motors provide will also enhance its rock-crawling and towing capabilities.
With ample ground clearance and sophisticated traction control systems, the electric Land Cruiser should retain, or even improve upon, the impressive off-road talents of the current V8-powered model. It will offer various selectable terrain modes to optimize performance on everything from sandy dunes to muddy trails.
Some analysts estimate the concept’s driving range per charge at 300+ miles based on the projected battery size. While not as long as the V8 model’s range, it would still allow full-day excursions into remote areas away from charging infrastructure. And with DC fast charging, extended road trips are possible as well.
Added Ruggedness and Durability
A key advantage of an EV platform is packaging flexibility. By removing the large engine up front, Toyota can optimize interior space and distribute weight evenly. This lower center of gravity enhances handling and stability. The heavy battery pack mounted underneath also provides protection against debris or impacts to the underbody.
The concept appears to have greater approach, departure, and breakover angles compared to the current Land Cruiser. Combined with the improved traction from instant electric torque, its off-road geometry could surpass its gas-powered counterpart.
Toyota’s proven expertise in quality, reliability, and durability will also give the electric Land Cruiser an expected service life well beyond a typical EV. It will likely share many robust components with other current Toyota trucks and SUVs. And its drivetrain and battery pack will be engineered for long-term use in harsh environments.
Premium Luxury Synonymous with Land Cruiser
One thing that won’t change is the Land Cruiser’s premium luxury appointments and pricing. As Toyota’s flagship SUV, it will remain exceptionally well-equipped even in base trim. Leather upholstery, adjustable driver/passenger seats, JBL premium audio, dual-zone automatic climate control, power tailgate, and a large touchscreen display will come standard.
Higher trims will add amenities like quad-zone climate control, refrigerated console cooler, head-up display, rear seat entertainment, advanced driver assistance systems, and more. With several powertrain and battery options too, expect the electric Land Cruiser to start around $85,000 and range past $100,000 fully loaded.
The Current Land Cruiser Series Nears End
Toyota recently celebrated 70 years of Land Cruiser production with special edition Heritage and Final Edition models. These, along with dwindling sales, hint that the current J200 series may conclude soon to make way for a new electric variant.
Rumors point to a late 2023 debut of the production electric Land Cruiser. It will feature the same capabilities but modernized with electrification and cutting-edge connectivity. This landmark model will open an exciting new chapter while honoring Land Cruiser’s legendary reputation for reliability, durability, and performance.
The electric Toyota Land Cruiser concept provides an exciting glimpse into the historic off-roader’s high-tech future. With its rugged styling, spacious interior, advanced powertrain, and renowned capability, an electrified production version could elevate the Land Cruiser to new heights. As Toyota leads the industry’s EV transition, the innovative e-Land Cruiser will uphold its iconic status as king of the off-road.
Will Land Cruiser go electric?
There is increasing speculation that Toyota will release an all-electric version of the Land Cruiser SUV in the near future, though nothing is confirmed yet. Here are some key points around the possibilities of an electric Land Cruiser:
- Toyota recently unveiled the Land Cruiser Concept at the 2022 Osaka Auto Messe showcasing an electrified design. This suggests Toyota is seriously considering an EV variant.
- The current J200 series Land Cruiser relies on a thirsty 5.7L V8 engine in a truck-based body-on-frame platform. An electric powertrain could offer improved efficiency, torque, and a more modern driving experience.
- Other automakers like GM and Ford are transitioning their big truck-based SUVs to electric, putting pressure on Toyota to keep the Land Cruiser competitive.
- Toyota has promised to invest heavily in EVs and hybrids. An electric Land Cruiser would align with these goals and plans.
- Packaging advantages of an EV platform can optimize interior room and weight distribution compared to the traditional engine upfront design.
- Rumors point to a possible debut in 2023 for an electric Land Cruiser, as the current V8 model nears the end of its life cycle after 70 years of production.
In summary, an electric Land Cruiser makes sense considering Toyota’s EV strategy and the shifting industry trends. While not confirmed, the recent concept and rumors signal Toyota is seriously exploring an electrified future for its flagship SUV. The iconic off-roader could be transformed with a more modern and capable electric powertrain.
How much will the 2024 Land Cruiser cost?
Toyota has not officially announced pricing for the 2024 Land Cruiser yet, but based on the current model and the expected addition of a new electric powertrain, we can speculate on the likely price range:
- The outgoing 2023 Land Cruiser starts around $85,000 for the base gas V8 model. The top Heritage Edition trim exceeds $100,000.
- With the transition to an all-new electric platform, Toyota is likely to increase base MSRP pricing on the 2024 Land Cruiser. Industry trends show EVs command a premium over gas counterparts.
- A reasonable estimate for the base 2024 electric Land Cruiser could start around $90,000 – $95,000. Toyota will want to maintain its premium positioning.
- Higher trims with larger battery packs, more powerful motors, and added luxury features could reach up to $120,000-$130,000.
- Extra off-road oriented packages and equipment would also drive up pricing on specific models.
- Toyota may continue to offer a high-end Heritage or special edition gas V8 model alongside the new electric line at over $100,000.
- Leasing costs may be lower due to EV tax credits and lower maintenance needs over time.
In summary, the iconic Land Cruiser name and Toyota’s commitment to its flagship SUV point to competitive pricing starting around $90,000. But the 2024 electric line-up could see top trims push toward $130,000 with max options. Final MSRP details will be revealed as launch gets closer.
Is Toyota going to make a fully electric car?
Yes, Toyota has announced plans to launch a range of fully electric vehicles in the coming years:
- In 2021, Toyota unveiled the bZ4X, their first dedicated battery electric SUV built on the new e-TNGA platform. Sales have already begun in some markets.
- Over the next few years, Toyota plans to introduce multiple bZ (Beyond Zero) EVs, including sedans, SUVs, pickup trucks, and more.
- By 2025, Toyota targets having at least 15 EV models available globally across the Toyota and Lexus brands.
- Toyota is investing billions in battery production to support their future EVs. They are also developing solid-state batteries for better range and performance.
- The goal is for EVs to make up half of Toyota’s global sales by 2030. This includes hybrids and plug-in hybrids in addition to fully electric models.
- Toyota has traditionally been very cautious about EVs, favoring hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. But with regulations tightening worldwide, they are now aggressively ramping up EV plans.
- Rumors point to possible electric versions of popular Toyota SUVs like the RAV4, Land Cruiser, 4Runner within the next few years.
So in summary, yes Toyota is firmly committed to producing fully battery-electric vehicles alongside hybrids and fuel cells. The bZ4X is just the first of many EVs customers can expect to see from the company in the coming years.
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