The Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series could pick up a version of the four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine from the HiLux ute as soon as this year.

    Reports from Japan earlier this year pointed to the introduction of the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel and a six-speed automatic to the LandCruiser 70 Series, which is currently only offered with a turbo-diesel V8 and a manual in Australia.

    Now, Toyota has confirmed it’s actively looking at the introduction of a smaller engine in South Africa.

    “We are certainly studying the 2.8-litre turbodiesel for local introduction but can only confirm the results of our study towards the end of the year,” a Toyota South Africa spokesperson told

    “Toyota Australia acknowledges the strong market support and interest in LandCruiser 70 Series and is always evaluating opportunities to expand and improve our local line-up,” a Toyota Australia spokesperson told CarExpert.

    “While we cannot comment on our model plans, we can confirm we will continue offering a V8 engine with the 70 Series in the years ahead.

    “Our aim, as always, is to provide customers with vehicles that deliver on their requirements, irrespective of what is under the bonnet.”

    While the 2.8-litre engine used in the HiLux and Fortuner is down 1700cc and four cylinders on the 4.5-litre V8 used in the current LandCruiser 70, it makes just 1kW less power, and packs 70Nm more torque.

    Although there are parallels between South Africa and Australia, an engine being introduced in one market doesn’t guarantee it will be available in another.

    In Australia the LC70 is powered exclusively by a V8; in South Africa it’s offered with a choice of an inline-six, a V6, and a V8 across its three body styles.

    The six-speed automatic with which it’s mated is also up one ratio on the five-speed manual currently being used. It’d be the first time an automatic has been offered in the LC70 since 1990.

    It’d also represent the latest in a series of rolling updates to the 70 Series over the past few years, as Toyota looks to extend its near four-decade life in the face of tightening safety and emissions standards.

    In 2022 it gained autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, along with a GVM upgrade to have it classified as a “medium-duty” vehicle and sidestep strict new Australian Design Rules about side-impact protection.

    In 2020 it picked up a modern infotainment system with satellite navigation and Bluetooth.

    MORE: Everything Toyota LandCruiser 70

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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