Toyota Australia says it will put its hand up for the electric LandCruiser if or when it goes into production, having been shown as the LandCruiser SE concept at today’s Tokyo motor show.
Speaking to the Australian media at the show, Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley said electrifying the iconic LandCruiser makes sense for the company.
“LandCruiser is Toyota’s iconic off-road nameplate with more than 10 million sales globally. Therefore, it’s important that this vehicle gets an electric option,” Mr Hanley said.
“Today we’re seeing a glimpse of what the first electric LandCruiser could look like. Toyota hasn’t said anything about whether this will go into production. But this is clearly a concept that broadens the appeal of LandCruiser.”
Measuring 5150mm long, 1990mm wide, 1705mm tall, and riding on a 3050mm wheelbase, the LandCruiser SE should have space for up to seven passengers.
Although details are scarce, we suspect it will have a very capable four-wheel drive system under the skin. The electric LandCruiser does miss out on a ladder-frame chassis through, using instead a monocoque body underpinned by 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.
“Of course, I’d assume there would be at least two motors to enable four-wheel drive… It’s a LandCruiser after all,” Mr Hanley said.
Asked specifically about the Australian prospects of the seemingly production-ready LandCruiser electric concept, Mr Hanley said it would be one of the first markets to request the vehicle.
“If these cars come into production I can assure you Australia, particularly on LandCruiser, would be the first one to put our hands up.”
According to Mr Hanley, Toyota continues to invest in the battery electric vehicles but won’t give up on traditional internal-combustion engines or hybrids, meaning it will continue to provide alternative powertrain options for buyers.
“When you look at history, Toyota is doing exactly what it’s done for the past 80 years. It’s not about being first to market, it’s about providing different solutions that are needed by different buyers in diverse regions around the world.”
Toyota Australia believes that by 2026, 50 per cent of its sales will be electrified, which means hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full battery electric.
Globally, the brand is set to introduce 10 new electric cars before the end of the decade, by which point it forecasts annual production of battery electric vehicles will top 3.5 million annually for the Toyota Group.