Ever since Toyota killed off the 200 Series Land Cruiser in the United States a couple of years ago, it's been unclear if the iconic nameplate would return. At first, it seemed as if Toyota was done with the Land Cruiser in the U.S., but then rumors and speculation swirled of its eventual return. Now, it's official—the Land Cruiser is coming back to America.
Confirmed by Toyota USA in a Facebook post, a brief teaser video shows off various Toyota Land Cruiser badges throughout the years, with a caption that reads: "Did you really think we’d be gone for long? The legend returns."
However, it seems we won't be getting the big boy 300 Series Land Cruiser, on which the new Lexus LX is based. According to a report from Automotive News, we're likely going to be getting the smaller, more affordable Land Cruiser Prado, which is said to be the basis for the new Lexus GX. Considering how good-looking the new GX is, and how excited off-roaders are about it, that's good news.
As with the Lexus GX, the new Land Cruiser Prado will be based on Toyota's TNGA-F body-on-frame platform. Expect the same 3.4-liter twin-turbocharged V6 making 349 horsepower, 479 lb-ft of torque, and paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The Lexus GX gets locking differentials in the center and at the rear axle, so we'll likely see a similar setup in the Land Cruiser.
Given the timeline of the Lexus GX reveal and Toyota's official announcement of the Land Cruiser's return, a late 2023 reveal seems likely and, per previous rumors, it could go on sale as early as January 2024. It will be interesting to see where Toyota prices the Land Cruiser if it is indeed the smaller Prado, as we think it will be. The 2024 Lexus GX is expected to cost around $60,000 to start, so will the Land Cruiser cost less? If it does, and starts somewhere in the $50,000 range, will it cannibalize 4Runner sales? We likely won't know until we get closer to 2024 but we do know that this is great news for off-road enthusiasts, as one of the greatest four-wheeling nameplates is officially making a comeback.
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