Released globally in 1984, the 70-Series Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the oldest cars available new. It's not ready to retire, it's extremely popular in markets like Australia, and the tried-and-true off-roader will reportedly receive mechanical updates in the coming months.
Without citing sources, Australian publication Drive wrote that the 70-Series lineup will grow with the addition of a 2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine borrowed from the Hilux. The four will be marketed as a more efficient alternative to the 4.5-liter turbodiesel V8 that has powered the 70-Series since 2007, but the two engines will be sold side-by-side; the eight-cylinder will remain in production, Toyota noted.
The four-cylinder's output hasn't been confirmed. In the Hilux, it's offered in three states of tune ranging from 201 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque to 221 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. In comparison, the V8 posts figures of 202 and 317, respectively. And, downsizing will allegedly allow Toyota to offer the 70-Series with an automatic transmission for the first time since 1990. The firm could also take advantage of the four-cylinder's smaller footprint to reduce the size of the front track, which grew when the V8 arrived.
Other updates will accompany the mechanical changes, including a new infotainment system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Hilux-sourced steering wheel already fitted to some variants of the 70-Series, and a handful of visual changes. We're not expecting an extreme exterior makeover; the boxy design hasn't changed much since 1984, and it's part of what makes the 70-Series emblematic.
Toyota hasn't commented on the report, and it hasn't revealed what's next for the venerable 70-Series. All we know is that the model will stick around in the foreseeable future, and the Japanese company told Drive that it will continue to offer a V8 engine "in the years ahead." If the rumor is accurate, we should learn more about the updates Toyota is making to its oldest and toughest SUV in the second half of 2023.
Interestingly, putting a four-cylinder between the Land Cruiser's fenders will allow Toyota to sell the model in Japan after a long hiatus. Don't get your hopes up if you live in the United States: as of writing, nothing suggests that we'll see the 70-Series on our shores anytime soon.