Toyota LandCruiser 70: Electric ute starts testing

Toyota's toughest LandCruiser, the long-running 70 Series, has been given an all-electric makeover in conjunction with mining company BHP.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
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Toyota and mining giant BHP are teaming up to put an all-electric 70 Series LandCruiser through its paces.

The electric single-cab LandCruiser ute, dubbed the Workhorse EV, has been converted from turbo-diesel to pure-electric power by Toyota in Port Melbourne.

It’s being tested underground at a BHP nickel mine in Western Australia. Moving to electric utes is part of the mining giant’s push to reduce its ‘operational emissions’ by 30 per cent before 2030.

Details about how much power and range the Workhorse EV will have haven’t been revealed. It’s also not clear if it will be four-wheel drive, although Toyota’s images of the car show it fording streams and climbing hills.

The standard LandCruiser 70 Series is powered by a 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8 engine making 151kW of power and 430Nm of torque.

Toyota’s LandCruiser 70 Series mule isn’t the only ‘Cruiser abandoning its big V8 engine in a push to be cleaner and greener.

Toyota’s largest SUV, the 300 Series LandCruiser, will launch this year with new turbo-diesel and turbo-petrol engines, with a hybrid V6 to follow.

But BestCarWeb reports the new turbo-diesel for the LandCruiser 300 Series, said to have a displacement of 3.3 litres, will be a four-cylinder and not a six-cylinder as previous reports have indicated.

Both it and the twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The 3.5-litre V6 turbocharged hybrid will follow a couple of years later with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Previous reports from Japan also suggested the range could be topped with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8-powered GR flagship, though BestCarWeb reports the GR-badged 300 Series will be a GR Sport.

Instead of a more powerful engine, the sporty model will follow the example of other GR Sport-badged models and offer a revised suspension tune and styling tweaks.

MORE: Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series news and reviews
MORE: Toyota news and reviews

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Scott Collie is the News Editor at CarExpert.
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