The Future of Toyota Body-on-frame vehicles.

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Snaeper

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So here at GTPlanet, when we think of Toyota enthusiast vehicles, we think MR2, Supra, Celica, 86 and more.

But Toyota is also easily one of the leaders for enthusiasts who prefer dirt to neatly paved tarmac. Leading the way are vehicles like the legendary Land Cruiser, the venerable Hilux and the 4Runner among many others.

With the advent of the TNGA-F architecture, all of Toyota's body on frame vehicles look to see needed replacements and consolidations.

https://gearpatrol.com/2020/03/16/new-toyota-land-cruiser-tundra-details/

Before detailing what the future has in store, it's important to look at what currently fills out Toyota's burgeoning and diverse global portfolio:

Land Cruiser 70 Series - A relic of the '80's, the Land Cruiser 70 fills a niche in markets like Australia, Africa and the Middle East that will be difficult to replace. How old is it? It's the vehicle that directly replaced the original Land Cruiser 40 series. With solid axles all around and enough body types to fit any situation, it's the Land Cruiser that people choose when they want to travel far and make it back. The closest analogue it has in the modern global market is the Jeep Wrangler ever since the Defender was put out to pasture.

Land Cruiser Prado (150 Series) - Originally a variation that started on the 70 series, the Prado spun off onto it's own platform in 1996, sharing much in common with the Toyota Tacoma and 4Runner underneath the skin. It's marketed as a medium-duty Land Cruiser, with a friendlier price tag, and only a moderate drop in capability over it's big brother (currently the 200 Series). In some markets, this vehicle is known as the Lexus GX or simply the Land Cruiser.

Land Cruiser (200 Series) - It's hard to call any particular Land Cruiser the original, but for many markets, this is the Land Cruiser most will think of when they hear the name. A big, comfortable wagon that can go absolutely anywhere and make it back.

Hilux - Currently in it's eighth generation, the Hilux stands as one of the most recognizable Toyota trucks and SUV's, even in markets that it's not sold in (pretty much Canada and USA). In Toyota's global portfolio, it somewhat slots between the Tacoma and Tundra in terms of capability, with a profile similar to the Tacoma, but an increased capability thanks to strong desire from commercial markets.

Fortuner - The most recent SUV to be spun off of the Hilux platform, the Fortuner originally hailed from Thailand as an inexpensive way to get into a 5-7 passenger SUV with good off road capability, but without the cost of the Land Cruiser name and the bulletproof ruggedness that comes with it.

4Runner - The original Hilux SUV spinoff, it's still known as the Hilux Surf in some markets. Nowadays it shares more DNA with the Land Cruiser Prado and the Toyota Tacoma than it does the Hilux, while filling the same niche that the Fortuner does in the markets it's in. Like the Prado and less like the Fortuner, the 4Runner is known as a comfortable, capable SUV.

Tacoma - The other midsize pickup in Toyota's portfolio. The Tacoma was split from the Hilux's mission to market a more comfortable, personal-vehicle focused vehicle for North American tastes. These days, it can only be found in Canada, Mexico and the USA. Unlike the Hilux, it's only available with petrol engines

Tundra - Few vehicles can make a Land Cruiser (200 series) look small, but leave it to the North American Tundra to do just that. These days, it's only available with a 5.7 N/A V8, can make it to a million miles, probably tows more than anything else on this list and likely hauls more, too.

Sequoia - Last but not least, there's the Sequoia. The SUV sibling of the Tundra, the Seq slots in under the Land Cruiser in price and capability, while being a larger and more family-oriented vehicle for American family's who'd likely find the Prado too small. It's primary purpose is to tow and move people over moderate terrain. However, it's off road chops have recently been boosted by the introduction of a TRD Pro model.

EDIT: FJ Cruiser - I can't believe this, but they still make the FJ Cruiser in some markets. I knew it carried on after leaving North America's shores, but I didn't realize it was still at it!

Lexus GX and LX - While these are mechanically similar to the Prado 150 and LC 200, albeit with gasoline V8's, their futures may not necessarily be tied to those two models for their replacements.


Now, that's a lot of overlap that has stemmed from multiple markets developing similar vehicles based on needs and budgets. I suspect that with the new TNGA-F architecture, it will be easier to streamline their model portfolio to have less overlap.

THE FUTURE

Time to analyze what's in store for the future of Toyota's nameplates and how they might converge or change:

The Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Shrinks - Status: FALSE(-ish)
First up is the Land Cruiser 200's replacement, the Land Cruiser 300 and there's some interesting info about it. Reports have stated it's going to Shrink and seat a maximum of 5 occupants instead of the potential 7 like the current 200. Twin Turbo Gasoline V6's and a hybrid system are in the cards. No word on diesels yet, but it's a safe bet they'll be introduced if they want Australians and others to buy them. In America, it's also supposed to take a significant price chop to make it more accessible than it's current $90k sticker commands.

However, this new, shorter and cheaper Land Cruiser 300 puts it perilously close to the Prado's mission profile. However, given that Toyota has some consolidation to do with it's b.o.f. midsize SUV's, could we see the end of the Prado altogether?

This will be the first of the TNGA-F vehicles to be announced and released, with the next Tundra following closely behind.

Update Oct, 12th/2021: So obviously the 300 Series took after the 200 Series, but with all of the updates the Land Cruiser's been needing. However, this rumor wasn't completely unfounded and may still yet be true. If the Toyota UK market is anything to go by, Toyota isn't afraid of referring to non-LC200/300 SUV's as "Land Cruiser", and it could be that the US Market gets a version of the Prado, or entirely bespoke TNGA-F vehicle that will bare the name... because Toyota has also proven they have no problem with a few different flavors of Land Cruiser scattered around the globe.

Next Tundra Gets Twin Turbo Power - Status: TRUE

The current Tundra is old. Not a bad thing when your clientele demand honest reliability over fancy new technology, and your competition can sell more of one trim level of their rival nameplate than you sell in your entire model line.

But change is finally coming. First, it seems like Toyota has plans to size the truck closer to the domestic vehicles it competes against, as it's size currently makes it difficult to match the tow and hauling of the American domestic half ton pick ups it squares off with. It's impressive but old school 5.7 V8 will also be riding off into the sunset and replaced with the same V6TT that will find it's way into the Land Cruiser 300. Hybrid power is also in the cards.

Update 10/12/2021: So this was pretty much bang on.

Hilux and Tacoma Reunited - Status: TRUE

Only (decent) rumors and a little speculation at this time right now, but this merger makes a lot of sense. First, both vehicles are roughly on the same refresh and update cycle. Additionally, the once differing mission profiles they each accomplished have become more and more aligned, with Global buyers seeking Utes as personal vehicles more and more, and Tacoma owners wanting more capability for their personal trucks. TNGA-F being shared with the larger Tundra means that these two will be able to likely meet the goals of comfort and capability in a midsize package for the entire globe, with only minor content tweaks and powertrain swaps to suit specific markets. Gas, Diesel and Hybrid power are in the cards. It sounds like the Gasoline V6 will be retained in lieu of a turbo charged four cylinder.

Update 10/12/2021: I need to get better at sourcing this info, but while it was always going to "kind of" be the case given the nature of the TNGA-F platform, it's been confirmed that the Hilux and Tacoma will be sharing a lot of DNA underneath the skin. More than they ever have. Styling for both will supposedly be very different in order to cater to their market's tastes, and I don't expect the Tacoma to be diesel powered anytime soon, but I suspect a lot of the suspension components and running gear will be very swappable, and they'll have identical frames.

However, I do not expect this convergence to happen at the exact same time. The Tacoma is being mooted to be replaced in '23-'24, while the earliest time I've seen for the Hilux is '25.


Midsize SUV Convergence - Status: TBD

It's safe to say that Toyota has two too many midsize body on frame SUV's. If the Land Cruiser 300 goes down market in price, but keeps it's capability, the Prado is all but completely moot. The North American 4Runner is a perfect example of a single model that can achieve the goals of both a modest, honest body on frame SUV like the Fortuner with the 4Runner SR5, as well as a luxurious, capable SUV like the Prado with the Limited and TRD Pro trim levels. I see all three models going away and being replaced with a single midsize SUV (likely carrying the Fortuner, Hilux Surf and 4Runner names depending on the market it's in).

Update: The 4Runner and Prado are both expected to get replaced around 2023. It'll be interesting to see how similar they are, if at all. The Fortuner sounds like it will continue soldiering on as well, but will likely be replaced around 2025 at the same time (or near) as the Hilux.

The Death of the 70 Series - Status: TBD

I'm certain this will not be popular, but I do not believe this 4x4 Utility vehicle has long for the world. With any luck, the TNGA-F architecture can support a live axle front suspension, but the signs may not be good for a capable replacement to fill in this legends shoes. Look for the Hilux, the Land Cruiser 300 and possibly an international Tundra to fill in for where this rig leaves off.

Update: Grandpa is still alive and kicking, with no plans to retire just yet.

What about the rest?

There have been conflicting reports regarding the Lexus LX. One cited a continuation of it's current Land Cruiser-based genes, and another has said it will become more of a Bentley Bentayga competitor. I personally would prefer the latter, primarily to see the Land Cruiser nameplate helped with sales in the US, but also because the Lexus LC and LS are excellent cars and I'd love to see the SUV version of them. The GX has been confirmed as returning, which does put a feather in the cap for the Prado living to see a new version, although it could also switch to sharing it's roots with the Land Cruiser 300, if my theory is correct.

Update: So the LX is very much going to be LC300 base, and sadly it's come at the expense of the LC300 Land Cruiser selling in the American Market (RIP). I fully expect a premium "Bentley Bentayga" fighter as well though, as it'll likely be able to exist alongside the LX given their vastly different missions and likely very different styling. However, I haven't read much in regard to that SUV coming. The GX status is currently: "It's coming" and that's about it. What form it will take remains to be seen, but Lexus seems to be willing to embrace a harder edged off-road customer base.

The Sequoia, lastly, is a difficult one to thumb down. On the one hand, it fills a role that a 5-seat Land Cruiser 300 cannot, and should it continue to share much of it's front end and mechanical bits with the Tundra, it'll be relatively easy to produce. But with the Land Cruiser supposedly taking a huge slash in price, it'll have a lot of SUV competition in it's own showroom, let alone from the likes of the vastly improved Ford Expedition and the soon-to-be-updated Tahoe and Suburban which is largely competes against.

Update: The Sequoia is all but confirmed to continue to be an SUV version of the Tundra. It will be interesting to see if Toyota will go in a different direction for styling, and if it'll retain it's IRS set up. It is referred to as one of the "four brothers" of the American market (alongside the 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra). That doesn't bode well for a future return of the Land Cruiser nameplate in any capacity, though.

Personal Thought:

As an owner of a Toyota Tacoma, I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for Toyota SUV's and trucks with other owners. Despite the clear ties of our vehicles, it is not common for there to be overlap with the other enthusiastic owners surprisingly enough! Land Cruiser and GX/LX guys stick together, FJ Guys stick together, with the 4Runner, Tundra and Tacoma crowds being the only ones that frequently mingle. It's easy to think that Toyota wasn't producing enthusiast vehicles because of the dark days of the 2000's in the wake of the loss of the Supra, Celica GT4 and MR2 Turbo, but the light kept shining for Land Cruiser, Tacoma and Hilux enthusiasts, and that light has only grown brighter with the advent of the Overlanding movement around the world, and the increase in popularity for modifying 4wd vehicles like Toyota's for the task. It would be nice for Toyota to embrace their leadership of the movement with fresh, exciting products, while also consolidating their brand.

I'll do my best to update this thread with news and will be editing the OP with links and news.
 
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9,401
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I heard they are going to put the 2.8L 4 Cyl diesel into the 300 series, if that is the only diesel option that Is going to be very bad news.

It's already underpowered for the Prado but with a heavier body it's going to suffer and towing will shrink as well, they have to get a diesel that is as powerful as the Twin Turbo V8 they have already.
 

Snaeper

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Umm, wow. OP Edited because I found out the FJ Cruiser is still in production in some markets!
I heard they are going to put the 2.8L 4 Cyl diesel into the 300 series, if that is the only diesel option that Is going to be very bad news.

It's already underpowered for the Prado but with a heavier body it's going to suffer and towing will shrink as well, they have to get a diesel that is as powerful as the Twin Turbo V8 they have already.
I haven't heard anything regarding Diesel in my (admittedly light) skimming of articles both from North American and Australian publications. What I have heard is that the next Land Cruiser, at least for American shores, is going to be smaller. If that's the case for Australia and Toyota US and AU keep the 300 as the top (instead of following along with the UK where the top is the Prado and the 200 doesn't exist) then at least the 2.8 (should it get used) will have a smaller vehicle to lug around.

This is also assuming they do not improve the performance of the 2.8.
 

Joey D

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the FJ Cruiser is still in production in some markets!

I honestly had no idea this was still the case, but I looked on Toyota's South African website and there it was for R678,100 (about $38,000). I find it kind of remarkable it's still kicking in some markets

It seems like if Toyota reimagined the FJ and brought it back across the globe it would sell fairly well. I think the only reason it ended up scrapped in the first place was the global financial market exploded and fuel prices skyrocketed. Now that we're through all that, people would probably buy them again.
 

Veinz

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Great thread.

The FJ Cruiser is a future collectable, those things are insane at holding their value. Also looking forward to the new 4Runner, I really hope they don't copy the design language from the Highlander. And hopefully they still make it in Japan, right now it's built along side the Land Cruiser.

I would LOVE a 200 series Land Cruiser though, but they only sell the Lexus LX here. And that thing almost twice the price as my 4runner when it was new.
 
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Veinz

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Land Cruiser 300

edit: trying to post images but my phone is being a pain in the arse. link

https://www.motor1.com/news/513236/toyota-land-cruiser-tech-video/



I’ll take a black GR sport pls
2022-Toyota-Land-Cruiser-1111.jpg 1588w" sizes="100vw">}
 
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Keef

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I'll help with the photos.

eksterer-toyota-land-cruiser-300.jpg


eksterer-toyota-land-cruiser-300.jpg


2022-toyota-land-cruiser.jpg


2022-toyota-land-cruiser.jpg


@Snaeper A few predictions didn't quite pan out. The 300-series isn't much smaller than the 200, if at all. It's also still a 3-row truck. Also it's been known for a while now that it's not coming to the US at all which is a real shame. I would expect the Lexus LX to continue on with this frame, however the LX offers no answer to the extended Navigator and Escalade which both still have considerable cargo room behind the third row. The Sequoia does however have more useful room than the 300 behind the third row. The engines have been decided as a V6 twin-turbo gas and diesel.

I could've sworn we already had a thread about this but whatever.
 
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Keef

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What can I say, it looks good lol. And the wheel wells open wider at the bottom which is conducive to lifting and bigger tires. I don't see a bumper cut line and I'm really hoping that the lower front bumper is not one piece with the entire grille - that would make adapting aftermarket bumpers difficult and expensive. Overall this thing looks pretty big and effective.
 

TonyJZX

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I would imagine that if you were an RHD market then you could possbily private import a South Africa FJ into your market, assuming your market has no production facilites as it is.

Also I suppose no one here has heard of the Innova.


It an SUV based on the Hilux platform for 3rd world countries only and I believe, its rwd only (!!??)

why this is when they have a need for 4wd puzzles me but perhaps its a move to get people into Landcruisers if they truly need 7 seats and 4wd.
 

Keef

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Looks too GM.


I think it's just the red color throwing you off. Chevy heavily markets their trucks in red. That red combined with the gray arches is straight Chevy...let's hope those arches are painted gray instead of GM's signature miserable gray plastic. If they're gray plastic then I will agree with you. Their gray plastic is both one of the most signature elements in the entire industry and also one of the most egregious. Also, even the one photo that isn't hilariously overexposed is still overexposed.

The more interesting thing to me is how level it sits. Weird. Bags?
 
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Veinz

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The rear doors on these always have awkward looking proportions. The double cab looks too small while the crew max looks too big.
 

Keef

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And I think I might get one eventually. Can't wait to see the Sequoia.
 

Veinz

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I like the pro, from most angles. The interior looks really nice. If I ever get another truck, it will definitely be a Tundra.
 
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Looks more like a cyber truck than the Cybertruck. At least I like the wheels.

Saw a few Titans on the road. I’m Im sure someone will want one these Tundras converted here.
 
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I still wonder why Toyota doesn't offer the Tundra over here in the GCC. GM's Silverado/Sierra sells well in our market and Ford & Mopar have no such problems with giving us their full sized truck lineup here. Sure, there's the good o' J79 Land Cruiser but those are far too outdated and uncomfortable. It's definitely not a bad truck, just that it doesn't occupy the place of the Tundra. Oh well, grey USDM imports will always exists.

Speaking of Toyota's, the new Lexus LX600 would be revealed next 13th of October. Previously, photos of the new Lexus being tested on the roads and at the factory were spotted. Not sure how well this new LX600 will fair considering how controversial the new 300 Series Cruisers are (i.e ugly design, no v8 options, no manual, no split gate or barn doors...etc).




Also I suppose no one here has heard of the Innova.


It an SUV based on the Hilux platform for 3rd world countries only and I believe, its rwd only (!!??)

why this is when they have a need for 4wd puzzles me but perhaps its a move to get people into Landcruisers if they truly need 7 seats and 4wd.
The Innova is more of an MPV built on the Hilux chassis intended mainly for the south east asian market. Not exactly what i would call an SUV tho.
 
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Snaeper

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I'm happy that the bodywork seems to mirror the Land Cruisers bodywork. The LX (and GX) always seem to have too much lower cladding and skirts that would need to be removed to use them off-road. So it's nice seeing this mirrors the Cruiser. That interior on the Luxury version is bonkers.

I just wish the F-Sport version made it a bit more rugged rather than street oriented. Seems counter-intuitive for a massive body on frame SUV.
The Rav4 Prime engine and hybrid system in a taco would be epic.
Yes. Although I really want to see the Tacoma get a system designed with a 4WD-like replacement hybrid system. But there's so much untapped potential. I just hope they do more than sandwich an electric motor between the transmission and call it a day.
 
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Veinz

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I’ve been keeping an eye on the prices of used 4Runners and it’s getting insane, some of them are selling for above msrp. Slightly used TRD Off roads are selling in the 60s (cad) and the Pros are way into the 70s.

It must be the same with the other trucks and suvs.
 
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Snaeper

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I’ve been keeping an eye on the prices of used 4Runners and it’s getting insane, some of them are selling for above msrp. Slightly used TRD Off roads are selling in the 60s (cad) and the Pros are way into the 70s.

It must be the same with the other trucks and suvs.
Yeah Tacoma's are the same as well. I hear tales of guys getting more than what they paid for them from the dealers just to trade them in.

But then they spend more to replace them unless they're super careful. One Tacomaworld member recently spent $2700(USD) to swap his 50k mile SR for a 0 mile SR. Nuts.
 

Keef

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A few Sequoia teasers have been released lately but didn't get much fanfare. It's a big deal to me, and should be a big deal to a lot of big-SUV buyers, especially now that the LC is out of production, because the Sequoia is a similarly capable vehicle that goes under the radar.

2023-toyota-sequoia-teaser-turbo-SUV.jpg

Toyota_SUV_Teaser_2-FULL-1-20-2022-1536x1024.jpg


The tail light design looks very similar to the LC300, actually. It debuts tomorrow. There are already some leaks of the presentation out at www.burrlapcar.com but I'm not going to spoil the show here.
 
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