Dead: Toyota Land Cruiser With V-8 Engine

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When Toyota launched the Land Cruiser (300 Series) in 2021, it didn’t give it a V-8 or a US visa for that matter. Then the 250 Series came along in 2023, and while it’s available in North America, there’s no engine with eight cylinders. Heck, there isn’t even one with six. A third flavor of the Land Cruiser is available in some markets. It used to have a big ol’ V-8, but not anymore.

Launched 40 years ago, the 70 Series is still sold in Australia. The bad news is that its venerable 4.5-liter turbodiesel V-8 is no more. Toyota’s division Down Under cites “changing regulations and community expectations” for the oil-burner’s demise. The writing had been on the wall for some time as the order book was closed nearly two years ago. Production will continue for a while to clear the backlog of orders but the company won’t accept new requests for vehicles equipped with the 1VD-FTV engine.

The first to die will be the four-door Wagon and the two-door Troop Carrier, which are both technically SUVs. Production for these two will end in September 2024 when Toyota Australia will also pull the plug on the single- and double-cab pickup trucks in the GX trim level. The final units of these four flavors will be delivered to customers before the end of the year. The pickups in GXL trim are sticking around until later next year, with the last ones to be shipped to buyers in Q4 2025.

While the V-8 is officially no more, the five-speed manual gearbox is staying. From October, Toyota will offer a stick shift with the 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine. This four-pot delivers 201 horsepower, just like it does in the six-speed automatic, but torque is reduced by 37 pound-feet to 332 lb-ft. It’s the same manual the old V-8 version used to have but with different gear ratios by shortening the first three gears for improved acceleration. Fifth gear is now longer for better fuel efficiency and a quieter cabin at higher speeds.

Australia is not the only place where Toyota still sells this generation of the Land Cruiser originally launched in 1984. The 70 Series was reintroduced in Japan at the end of last year, complete with a fender mirror. In addition, the LC70 is also offered in the United Arab Emirates with a V-6 for the three- and five-door SUV body styles.

It’s worth noting this is not the same Land Cruiser introduced by Toyota two years before I was born. The off-roader was updated over the years, most recently in 2023 when it got modern features such as a 6.7-inch touchscreen with wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The go-anywhere SUV/pickup also has an automatic high-beam, speed sign assist, and even lane departure warning. Automatic versions benefit from the Downhill Assist Control system.

Despite being one of the oldest vehicles on the market, demand remains strong. Newly placed orders in Australia won’t be fulfilled in the next 3-6 months. It’s understandable why it remains a popular product in this day and age of overly complicated vehicles crammed with a lot of technology we rarely use. The simple nature of the LC70 adds to its appeal, especially if reliability is a top priority since there are fewer things that can go wrong.

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