Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
Toyota Australia has confirmed an updated LandCruiser 70 Series is arriving in Australia in November 2022, with both safety and payload upgrades.
All models will include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, the first piece of active safety technology to join the 70 Series’ equipment list.
The 70 Series’ list of standard safety equipment is shorter than its Prado and 300 Series stablemates. It arguably consists only of the bare necessities by 2022 standards, featuring anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution and stability control.
Currently, only single-cab chassis models get curtain airbags and a driver’s knee bag, with all other body styles featuring only driver and passenger ‘bags. Toyota hasn’t announced whether this will be changing.
Toyota says it has made design refinements that have enabled it to increase the 70 Series’ gross vehicle mass to more than 3500kg, bumping up the vehicle’s payload figure and pushing it from the light to medium goods category.
It hasn’t confirmed the payload figure, and says more details – including pricing – will be confirmed closer to the vehicle’s launch.
The 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8 engine powering the range won’t be changed, with outputs of 151kW of power and 430Nm of torque. It’s mated with a five-speed manual and four-wheel drive.
“The upcoming changes are designed to ensure that the legendary LandCruiser 70 Series will continue to be available for the foreseeable future in the Australian market, where its popularity resulted in more than 13,900 sales last year,” said Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations, Sean Hanley.
“The increase in GVM is sure to appeal to owners who use the 70 Series as a tool of trade or are seeking an even greater ability as a heavy duty recreational off roader.
“Combined with heavy-duty suspension and 3,500kg towing capacity, these upgrades will enhance the versatility and rugged reputation for this legendary vehicle.”
Of those approximately 13,900 sales last year, a total of 12,277 sales were of the single- and double-cab chassis models according to VFACTS. That makes the tray-backed 70s vastly more popular than the wagon.
Apart from a special 70th Anniversary model last year, the venerable off-roader range was last updated in 2020.
That year, the 1985-vintage ute and 4×4 wagon range received a 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation and Bluetooth as standard across the range.
Toyota has been progressively announcing updates for almost its entire lineup.
The Corolla and RAV4, for example, will receive updated safety and infotainment technology later this year with the former getting a more powerful hybrid, while the Supra is getting a manual transmission, the Yaris Cross is receiving as-yet unspecified technology updates, and the Yaris, C-HR and Camry are getting new colours.
It isn’t just minor updates on the agenda for Australia’s best-selling car brand, however, as it gets ready to launch a second-generation GR 86, plus a new GR Corolla hot hatch and the small Corolla Cross SUV.