New Zealand gets the first look at all-new Toyota Land Cruiser 300-series - including monster GR Sport version
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DRIVEN has joined an exclusive media and customer group for the New Zealand launch of the eagerly awaited all-new Toyota Land Cruiser 300-series this week.
With first NZ deliveries expected in October, the 300-series remains a hard-core off-road machine. It's been common knowledge for a while that we were saying goodbye to the V8 turbo-diesel in the all-model: in its place comes a 3.3-litre twin-turbo diesel making 225kW/700Nm, a significant upgrade over the previous model's 200kW/650Nm.
It drives through a 10-speed automatic transmission and retains a 3.5-tonne tow rating.
The new range brings back VX and VX Limited grades, but there's also been a dramatic change in direction with the addition of a GR Sport model: engine outputs are unchanged but it boasts Electronic Kinetic Dynamic/Adaptive Suspension System, four drive mode options including Sport+ and lockable front/rear differentials.
The GR Sport is also the only Land Cruiser available in Arctic White, which is matched to Matte Grey alloys, blacked-out exterior trim and a redesigned front end.
VX and GR Sport both ride on 18-inch alloys and all-terrain tyres, for optimum off-road ability. The more luxury-focused VX Limited has 20-inch rims on more road-focused rubber.
Head-up display is a feature new to Land Cruiser with the 300-series; the cabin also has a 12.3in touch screen with Apple and Andriod phone projection.
The VX has "synthetic leather", while the VX Limited gets leather in black or sandstone. The GR Sport can be ordered with plain black or red-accented leather.
The 300 has a wading depth of 700mm, ground clearance of 235mm and approach/departure angles of 32/25 degrees.
Steve Prangnell, Toyota NZ general manager of new vehicle sales and product planning, promises die-hard fans of the model will not be disappointed with its performance: "Land Cruiser has a huge heritage. In fact, this year we celebrate 70 years since the first Land Cruiser wowed four-wheel drive enthusiasts. This latest 300-series performance, drives and tows as you would expect of a Land Cruiser.
"You cannot really overstate the reputation of the Land Cruiser brand as a tremendously capable off-roader matched to a premium and spacious cabin. These vehicles can really tackle anything and their reliability is unsurpassed. It's not uncommon to see 40 and 50-year-old Cruisers still going strong."
Pricing won't be confirmed until August, but expect slight increases over the outgoing model, which sold for $112,990-$129,990.