Toyota LandCruiser Chief Engineer Takami Yokoo mentioned time spent driving throughout Australia within the previous 200 Collection left him “deeply moved”, and was a key aspect within the 300 Collection’ world improvement program.
Whereas Toyota ensures us that the LC300 is each bit the off-road beast its predecessors had been – actually, it says the brand new mannequin overtakes the previous 80 Collection as one of the best off-road ‘Cruiser ever – the main target was on maximising consolation. Are you listening to this, caravaners?
The brand new 300 Collection was revealed in a single day within the Center East and can hit Australian sellers earlier than the tip of 2021. It’s the primary ground-up redesign for the reason that 200 launched method again in 2007 – not that this has harm gross sales.
It’s the primary time Toyota’s TNGA structure has been fitted underneath a body-on-frame 4×4. The 300 has a brand new V6 diesel engine instead of the V8, is stiffer but lighter, billed as quieter on highways, has rejigged suspension with higher articulation, and gives the most recent lively security.
Automobile dimensions together with size, width, wheelbase and departure and method angles are mentioned to be “very shut” to the outgoing mannequin, relying on the variant.
Key Toyota figures have given all method of insights right into a improvement program that went across the globe, and it seems they had been conscious of the duty they bore.
“Even because the instances change, LandCruiser must be true to its core. I used to be continually reminding the event crew: this isn’t only a automobile, it’s the LandCruiser,” mentioned Mr Yokoo.
The chief engineer added that TMC had “hit a wall” attempting to enhance collision and security efficiency, and to enhance driver consolation and NVH suppression, necessitating a “core renewal” that changed rattling close to each nut and bolt.
“I drove the LandCruiser 200 round Australia, house to 80 per cent of all of the world’s street [types], and realised two vital issues,” he mentioned. “First, I used to be deeply moved by how a lot everybody loves the LandCruiser. The opposite was that it was far more tiring to drive than I anticipated.
“When travelling on corrugated surfaces or filth roads, or the seemingly countless Sturt Freeway, you must pay fixed consideration to how the automobile handles.
“It was my want to resolve this problem that impressed manufacturing vehicles with the event crew. This was additionally the motivation for growing the all new LandCruiser as an easy-to-drive automobile that received’t trigger driver fatigue.”
The 300 Collection’ new GA-F body-on-frame platform permits a lowered centre of gravity and higher distribution of weight. Toyota additionally cites higher suspension geometry and a new-iteration electronically actuated Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (stabiliser bar disconnect).
“The rear shock absorbers on the 200 Collection had a pointy camber angle for the tyres. The tyres weren’t aligned with the stroke route, making the automobile much less regular,” mentioned TMC’s Chief Professional of Off-Street Driveability, Kazuyuki Ueno.
”We adjusted the body on the brand new mannequin to place the shock absorbers completely.”
The optimised weight distribution and lowered centre-of-gravity took place underneath the watch of Ueno-san’s colleague, TMC Grand Professional of On-Street Driveability, Akihiro Osaka.
“We moved the heaviest half, the engine and transmission, down 28mm and again 70mm. We additionally exchanged the V8 engine with the smaller V6 bettering on the front-heavy really feel of the 200 Collection,” Mr Osaka mentioned.
The previous 4.5-litre V8 turbo-diesel has been switched out for a 3.3-litre V6 diesel with two turbochargers, making 227kW of energy and 700Nm of torque (up 27kW and 100Nm). the previous six-speed computerized has been changed by a brand new 10-speed transmission with nearer ratios.
“The brand new mannequin delivers energy, torque, and economic system that far outperforms the 200 Collection,” insisted Chief Engineer Mr Yokoo. A lot of that is additionally right down to a weight reduction program that noticed the 300 Collection lose round 200kg total.
“We pioneered model new welding expertise on the body eliminating overlap in lots of locations, reaching vital weight discount,” he mentioned.
“This welding expertise used for the primary time on the earth is a product of the strategies and data of professional welders who’ve constructed LandCruiser for years,” added TMC’s Welding Professional Yasuhiro Yoshihara. “We achieved [secure and stronger frame] by diligently controlling any impact the warmth from welding may need.”
Yokoo-san added one other advantage of the brand new welding strategies used: a claimed 120 per cent improve in torsional rigidity of the body.
“I’m not exaggerating once I say this body constructed by our professional welders is the epitome of Toyota craftsmanship,” he mentioned.
Whereas on-road consolation was a spotlight, Toyota says the brand new KDSS system in addition to higher levels of axle articulation, an improved multi-terrain monitor, and a brand new automated system that selects one of the best driving mode primarily based on the floor, all play a task in making the LC300 a 4×4 beast.
“We’ll by no means permit something to get in the best way of reliability, sturdiness, and tough street efficiency, which implies we couldn’t change the body or the wheelbase with its golden ratio that has been the identical for the reason that LandCruiser 80 Collection,” mentioned Mr Yokoo.
“We really used the LandCruiser 80 as a guidepost. Even 30 years after it first appeared it has one of the best tough street efficiency of any LandCruiser. We need to surpass that tough street efficiency. The engineering introduced this ardour into the event of the 300.
“From the preliminary improvement part we drove it on tough roads quite a few instances, broke it, mounted it, and broke it once more. Nothing beats the suggestions you get from precise roads. If you develop a LandCruiser, the builders develop too. Myself included.”
The LC300 was put by way of its paces by Toyota Dakar Rally driver Akira Miura, who mentioned he discovered the stability to be “excellent” after some fettling.
“… The engine has been downsized from the LandCruiser 200. This shocked me in a extremely great way as a result of the engine is highly effective and responds so nicely to acceleration to succeed in increased velocity ranges,” he claimed.
“Subsequent is the lighter weight of the automobile and the way the burden is balanced, with the heavier components centred. This implies as quickly as you flip the steering wheel, the automobile responds precisely as the driving force intends.”
The ultimate phrase ought to go to former chief engineer Sadayoshi Koyari, who is aware of extra concerning the icon than most likely anybody else.
“We now have all been taught by our senior colleagues that there’s a promise between the LandCruiser and our clients. Our clients belief this automobile, and plenty of say they consider it as a member of the family. We can not betray that belief,” he mentioned.
“I consider this automobile’s mission is to take you wherever you need to go and produce you house in a single piece, it doesn’t matter what.”
Given Australia is a key marketplace for the LandCruiser – greater than ever on this COVID world the place home street journeys are at a reputation peak – Mr Koyari’s phrases ought to show reassuring.
LandCruiser was launched on August 1, 1951, because the four-wheel-drive Toyota BJ. It achieved fame by turning into the primary automobile to succeed in the sixth checkpoint of Japan’s Mount Fuji.
In Australia, LandCruiser was found throughout improvement of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electrical Scheme and its success was confirmed on the properties, mines and worksites of the Outback.
In June 1954, the automobile was renamed LandCruiser. It’s Toyota’s longest-serving nameplate, forward of Corolla which started in 1966.
To the tip of 2020, a cumulative complete of roughly 10.4 million LandCruiser 4x4s have been bought in 170 nations and areas worldwide with demand now working at greater than 300,000 autos a 12 months.
The tally consists of 1.12 million autos delivered to Australians – greater than 10 per cent of all LandCruisers ever bought. The totals embrace LandCruiser wagons, the heavy-duty 70 Collection, and LandCruiser Prado.
“In our quest to make LandCruiser more durable and extra succesful than ever, we’ve taken suggestions from clients from world wide,” mentioned Toyota Australia Vice President Gross sales, Advertising and marketing and Franchise Operations Sean Hanley.
“This consists of in depth enter from Australian house owners who’ve expertise in among the world’s harshest environments.
“The brand new LandCruiser vary brings improved design and superior new applied sciences that advance its efficiency in all circumstances whereas enhancing its consolation, comfort and security as a luxurious automobile.”
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