The Toyota LandCruiser Se and Toyota EPU concept break with tradition by not only featuring all-electric drivetrains, but also being based on a monocoque passenger car-platform rather a body-on-frame architecture.
The pair will be on show at the Tokyo motor show, and point to a future where Toyota’s icons are available with more than just petrol or diesel power.
Aside from the subtle Toyota lettering on the upper “grille”, and its boxy silhouette, there are few other obvious links between the LandCruiser Se and its internal combustion engine-powered relatives.
According to Toyota, the LandCruiser Se is a spacious three-row seven-seat SUV that “broadens the LandCruiser brand’s appeal” by catering “to the world’s diverse needs”.
Measuring 5150mm long, 1990mm wide, 1705mm tall, and riding on a 3050mm wheelbase, the LandCruiser Se should have plenty of space for up to seven passengers to lounge about.
The Se pairs a monocoque body with either the e-TNGA architecture or its successor. This ensures the car has “highly responsive handling and confidence in tackling rough terrain”, although it’ll probably feel more at home at Toorak or Vaucluse than the Simpson Desert.
Traditionalists will no doubt abhor this type of brand extension, but Toyota has a lot of recent form in this field. For the sixteenth generation of the Crown, the company added a crossover sedan and crossover hatch to the range, basing both these variants on the GA-K traverse engine, front- and all-wheel drive architecture shared with the Camry.
Maybe all that industry chatter was pointing towards the EPU concept.
Measuring 5070mm long, 1910mm wide, and 1710mm tall, the EPU has pretty much the same dimensions as the Maverick and Santa Cruz.
The one area where it stands out, apart from its all-electric drivetrain, is its 3350mm wheelbase, which is at around 300mm longer than its rivals from America and Korea.
Toyota has not provided any details about the drivetrains for either the LandCruiser Se or EPU, nor has it provided any indication of when these concepts might transition into production models.
Given the EPU has an interior, it’s possible the “mid-size” ute is closer to production than the LandCruiser Se.
Ahead of the driver is yoke-style steering wheel along with a pair of overlapping screens, one for an instrumentation display, and the other for the touchscreen infotainment system.
Separating the two displays is a pod housing the transmission shifter, and controls for the electronic parking brake, engine stop/start, and hill hold assist.
The dash also features sturdy-looking hard surfaces, including two lipped areas to help facilitate storage of odds and ends. In addition to this, there are multiple open and covered storage areas where a transmission tunnel would normally reside.
The images and Toyota’s press release suggest the EPU has a large pass-through port allowing long items to be carried in the tray and into the passenger cabin.
Toyota is also giving a debut to its Land Hopper concept. From earlier teaser images of a sub-Prado SUV, and the trademark applications for the Land Hopper name, many assumed the two were one and the same.
Alas, it doesn’t seem like that’s case, at least for now.
The Land Hopper on display at this month’s Japan Mobility Show in Tokyo is a three-wheel “electric personal mobility concept” with two linked wheels at the front.
Designated as a small motorised bike in Japan, it can be ridden by anyone over the age of 16 even if they don’t have a driver’s licence. As such it can be used as a last mile vehicle, a car alternative for the young, or a mobility aid for seniors.
The compact 1355mm long Land Hopper can be folded up for storage, or when taken on board public transport. The low seat is said to make it easy to ride or alight, and its “distinctive lean mechanism” is claimed to “offer an intuitive, exhilarating ride unlike any car or bicycle”.
Click any of the images to see more of the LandCruiser Se, EPU and Land Hopper.