Land Cruiser GR Sport revealed as the most capable off-road Toyota ever
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Toyota's Land Cruiser badge is one that has been associated with off-road ability and reliability. While the latter is yet to be confirmed with the new model, it seems that the GR Sport variant is the most capable yet.
Revealed overnight, this Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport blends a more aggressive exterior with underpinnings that should genuinely help when the going gets tough in the rough stuff.
According to Toyota, the engineers brief for the GR Sport was to create a car that is “secure, easy to drive, yet difficult to tire in even the harshest driving conditions”. They even employed feedback from Dakar rally drivers that have been using Land Crusiers in the production car category since 1995.
On the outside, the GR Sport is distinguishable by its new body kit which comprises of more aggressive bumpers, blacked-out panels, and unpainted plastic on the skid plate.
It also gets a set of black 18-inch alloy wheels which are finished in mud grey, and sit within the blacked-out wheel arches.
In the cabin, it gets dark red and black leather upholstery, as well as a 'GR SPORT' emblem embedded within the steering wheel. A carbon-weave pattern is also featured on the centre console.
Under the bonnet, the engine options are exactly the same as the regular Land Cruiser, with both petrol and diesel options internationally. The more powerful choice is the 3.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 with 305kW/650Nm, but the diesel has more torque with 227kW/700Nm.
Here in New Zealand, our Land Cruiser 300 range is sold exclusively with the twin-turbo diesel V6.
Both engines are paired with a 10-speed Direct Shift 10-speed automatic transmission, and send power to all four wheels, making this a full-time 4WD SUV like the regular model.
The real benefit of the GR Sport lies in the suspension, where it gets front and rear electronic differential locks (whereas the standard only gets an optional LSD at the rear).
These fancy differentials work alongside Toyota's Toyota’s Electronic-Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (E-KDSS) which is an electronic system that automatically adjusts the stabilisers at each wheel.
In New Zealand, the Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport will only be sold in a five-seat configuration with the diesel V6, and represents the flagship model in the range. Prices start at $144,990, which is around $20,000 more expensive than the entry-level VX.