Toyota has significantly re-engineered its top-selling LandCruiser 70 Series single cab-chassis to achieve the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating as part of a comprehensive across-the-range upgrade.
Single cab-chassis variants benefit from a frame that is larger and stiffer, additional airbags, revised body panels, new front seats and a raft of other changes that improve its safety performance.
All 70 Series variants receive a full electronic safety package of vehicle stability control (VSC), active traction control (A-TRC), hill-start assist control (HAC), brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution in addition to the existing anti-skid brakes.
Other major improvements to the LandCruiser 70 Series include engine upgrades that have reduced fuel consumption by up to 10.1 per cent* while resulting in improved responsiveness, more relaxed driving and lower emissions.
The high-torque 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8 engine has gained a diesel particulate filter and piezo-electric injectors while the five-speed manual transmission’s gearing is taller in second and fifth gears. Cruise control is new to the standard equipment list.
Additional upgrades to the WorkMate grade include replacing split-rim steel wheels with a wider single-piece 16-inch design, matched for the first time to tubeless tyres.
Toyota’s Australian engineers, supported by colleagues from Toyota in Japan, conducted extensive local development and evaluation over the past five years, including recalibrating the suspension to match the new frame.
LandCruiser 70 Series was subjected to more than 100,000km of extreme local testing, 70 per cent of which was conducted off-road, including in some of the harshest conditions in the country.
The sweeping engineering and manufacturing advances for LandCruiser 70 Series have resulted in modest price rises. Single cab-chassis variants, which receive the most widespread updates, have had their listed retail prices rise by $5,500# while the price rise for the double cab-chassis, wagon and troop carrier has been limited to $3,000, or 4.5 to 5.2 per cent.
Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the comprehensive updates were specifically designed and engineered to meet the varied demands of business and private buyers.
“These extensive engineering and specification updates guarantee the future for the LandCruiser 70 Series and its unrivalled combination of reliability, towing, payload and off-road ability,” Mr Cramb said.
“For more than 30 years, miners, farmers, governments and many other users have turned to the go-anywhere 70 Series to traverse the most inhospitable terrain and complete the toughest jobs.
“Toyota Australia was determined to return their loyalty and, with the support of our parent company, devoted significant resources to ensure we and our dealers could continue to meet demand. The only alternative was to walk away from this model – and that was not an option.”
Mr Cramb said Australians had bought more than a quarter of a million of these rugged workhorse vehicles – or almost one in five of the total number sold around the world.
“Such is the popularity of the 70 Series, Australian customers continue to buy around 8,000 a year come rain, hail or shine,” Mr Cramb said.
The single cab’s new frame is bigger and stronger with greater torsional rigidity due to thicker side rails and seven cross-members, including one that is new and three that have been re-engineered.
In addition to improving safety, the new frame reduces noise, vibration and harshness and contributes to improved handling and stability without affecting ride comfort.
Engineers have developed 12 new or thicker body panels to contribute to improved safety, including the bonnet, pillars, doors and floor.
The bonnet now has a pronounced “power bulge”, which contributes to sufficient clearance above engine-bay components to meet pedestrian impact requirements.
Single cabs are now fitted with five airbags, gaining two side curtain-shield airbags and a driver’s knee airbag in addition to its existing driver and front-passenger airbags.
New bucket seats enhance safety, comfort and ergonomics with a new structure that helps prevent whiplash. Revised mounting points contribute to the overall safety rating while new coverings deliver greater side bolstering and lumbar support.
Other improvements for this top-selling variant include under-dash padding for the passenger and relocation of the steering link behind the front axle, for increased safety.
Telescopic dampers have been recalibrated during local tuning of the single cab’s robust suspension set-up to complement the stiffer frame.
Combined-cycle fuel consumption for LandCruiser’s 151kW/430Nm turbo-diesel engine falls to 10.7 litres/100km*, an improvement of as much as 10.1 per cent.
The steering link for the single cab-chassis is now located behind the front axle, improving safety and requiring the introduction of a single 130-litre fuel tank – the same size as specified for wagon and double cab-chassis models. The troop carrier continues to be fitted with two 90-litre tanks.
Newly adopted VSC automatically disengages in low range. A-TRC, which eliminates the need for a limited-slip differential, operates in high and low ranges, but can be disengaged for sand. The latest HAC^ is designed to prevent the vehicle rolling backwards on an incline for approximately two seconds.
All new 70 Series workhorses are now fitted with front seatbelt pre-tensioners and a passenger seatbelt reminder.
As part of the overall upgrade, LandCruiser 70 Series has a new bank of 10 fuses for safe and easy connection of accessories.
The LandCruiser 70 Series range retains its ability to offer maximum payload and the maximum 3,500kg towing capacity at the same time.