In a surprising move, Toyota has announced the revival of the iconic Toyota Land Cruiser in North America, just three years after its discontinuation. The reincarnated Land Cruiser boasts an all-new retro-styled design that pays homage to its classic roots. This decision comes amid a growing trend towards off-road capability in new vehicles and a surge in interest for vintage truck-like SUVs. Following in the footsteps of Ford’s successful Bronco comeback in 2021, Toyota is looking to tap into the passionate fan base of the Land Cruiser.
What has changed?
Compared to its last iteration sold in the US in 2021, the new Toyota Land Cruiser will be slightly smaller. Toyota has also decided to make the model more accessible, with a starting price of around $55,000, in contrast to the previous version’s luxury price tag of over $80,000. This price adjustment reflects the company’s commitment to positioning the Land Cruiser as a rugged off-roader rather than a luxury-oriented SUV. The eagerly awaited launch is expected to take place in the spring of 2024.
For enthusiasts eager to delve into the Toyota Land Cruiser’s rich history, Toyota will offer the Land Cruiser 1958 Edition. This special edition commemorates the year the model first hit the US market and will feature classic design elements, including round headlights instead of the standard narrow, rectangular lights. Additionally, a limited run of 5,000 First Edition models will be available, showcasing two-tone paint and extra off-road equipment.
Despite its retro appearance, the 2024 Land Cruiser will be equipped with modern hybrid power. The SUV will harness a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gas engine alongside an electric motor, generating up to 326 horsepower. While exact fuel economy figures have yet to be released, Toyota emphasizes its commitment to hybrid technology as part of its strategy to reduce global carbon emissions.
A New Milestone for Toyota
The unveiling of the Toyota Land Cruiser also coincided with a significant milestone for Toyota. The company reported nearly doubled quarterly profits, benefiting from increased production and sales, as well as favorable currency exchange rates.
The Land Cruiser’s legacy can be traced back to the Korean War era, when it was originally developed as the Jeep BJ for the US military. Although it did not secure the military contract, Toyota recognized its potential and continued refining the vehicle. In 1955, it was rebranded as the Land Cruiser, emphasizing its capability to conquer any terrain. When it was first introduced in the US in 1958, only one Toyota Land Cruiser was sold in the initial year. However, an improved version, known as the Series 40, became the best-selling Toyota model in the US for five consecutive years, thanks to Toyota’s expanded dealer network.