After a global debut in Dubai, Toyota has officially launched the all-new Land Cruiser LC 300 in its home country. There are up to five variants, separated over five- or seven-seater and powered by either new-generation petrol or diesel turbocharged V6 engines.
The variant that springs a surprise to the line-up of this new generation Land Cruiser is none other than the GR Sport model, which is also the range-topping variant. This is the first body-on-frame SUV to wear the GR Sport emblem and the company says it is refined and developed at the Dakar Rally.
Toyota first entered the Land Cruiser in the Dakar Rally back in 1995 and has continued to participate in every edition via the team from Toyota Auto Body. Winning the 2020 Dakar Rally made it the Land Cruiser’s seventh consecutive victory in its class of Production Division.
Experience and feedback from the rally drivers were used for the vehicle development of the new Land Cruiser GR Sport, which Toyota plans to then bring it to the Dakar Rally in 2023.
Similar to the GR Sport treatment found on the Toyota C-HR and even our local Toyota Vios GR Sport, the Land Cruiser GR Sport features specific bumpers, radiator grille and dark-coloured wheels. Black is used quite liberally, such as on the side mirrors, door handles, side skirts and wheel arches as well as emblems. Similar to the Toyota GR Yaris, colours are limited, with gray metallic joining the palette of white, black and dark red mica.
Customers can choose to have diesel or petrol power in their Toyota Land Cruiser GR Sport. Both the new engines are twin-turbocharged V6 units, with the 3.5-litre petrol developing 415 hp at 5,200 rpm and 650 Nm of torque. The diesel mill displacing 3.3 litres meanwhile generates 309 hp at 4,000 rpm and 700 Nm of torque. Both engines are paired with a new 10-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.
In Japan, seating capacity is also tied to the type of engine, where the diesel variant only has five seats, but the petrol variant has seven seats.
Meanwhile, what sets the Toyota Land Cruiser GR Sport apart from the regular variants is the fitment of the world’s-first Electronic-Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System or E-KDSS active stabilisation system.
E-KDSS automatically and electronically control the front and rear stabiliser bar independently, where hydraulic fluid is used to keep the body level on smooth roads while extending suspension stroke during off-road. The E-KDSS works in tandem with the new linear solenoid-type adaptive variable suspension (AVS) that also offers a Sport S+ setting for more spirited driving.
Power is spread to all four wheels and up to six drive modes can be selected via the Multi Terrain Select. For even better traction on the most challenging terrain, the Land Cruiser GR Sport is also fitted with front and rear electronic locking differential locks. All the various drivetrain modes have been sub-group into three main categories, significantly reducing the number of buttons and knobs as well as ease-of-use for the driver.
The new Land Cruiser also features a hydraulic power steering system with an electric steering actuator designed to withstand harsh environments whilst delivering Lane Tracing Assist as well as a crisper steering feel.
Inside, the consistent treatment of the GR Sport package continues with the steering wheel emblem and front seat headrest emblems. Customers have two choices of seat upholstery colours- black or a two-tone black and dark red. Making a Toyota debut is the engine start switch with fingerprint authentication.
A fingerprint sensor replaces the start-stop button on the dashboard. Drivers are still required to carry the smart key into the vehicle.
The Toyota Land Cruiser GR Sport is the range-topping variant in the new LC 300 series for Japan. The petrol variant is listed at JPY7.7 million (approx. RM297k), while the diesel variant is JPY8.0 million (approx. RM308k), both prices JPY400,000 dearer than the ZX variant. The entry-level GX grade starts at a more affordable JPY5.1 million (approx . RM197k).
At this price level, it is similar to a high-spec Lexus RX 450h but still cheaper than a Land Rover Defender 110 with a 3.0L MHEV D300 Ingenium diesel engine.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser GR Sport
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser (300 Series)