In the tribe of the Ramno-bridge Mohicans only Land Cruiser has not been seriously updated in the last decade. New generation fans were waiting with a sinking heart. After all, the twenty-first century is slowly but surely grinding this segment. There is no need to look far for examples: the G-class, although it retained the frame structure, already said goodbye with a front axle, and the Defender does passed over on a load-bearing body with air suspension. And sales speak of the success of these bold decisions.
No one would be surprised if Toyota celebrated the 70th anniversary of the model by writing off the frame to the history archive or at least completely transferring the Land Cruiser to an independent suspension. You have to understand that since the times “Eighties” With every update of the flagship SUV, the Japanese try to please ours and yours. The Australian and Asian markets are looking for reliability, ruggedness and off-road capability first and foremost. Give others (including the largest Russian in Europe) comfort and prestige.
To the delight of the conservatives, the revolution did not happen. “Three hundredth” not only retained the frame structure, differential all-wheel drive with Thorsen, as well as a continuous rear axle, but, contrary to trends, remained in its size and weight. However, it is emphasized that the new Land Cruiser should become much more attractive for those buyers who travel mainly in the urban jungle.
In many ways, this should be facilitated by the new TNGA GA-F platform. The frame and body have become 200 kg lighter, the center of gravity is lower, and the axle weight distribution has been improved. The body is made of aluminum, except for the rear fenders. The next-generation KDSS roll control system now has a separate circuit for each anti-roll bar and three electronically controlled cylinders instead of the previous two. And from now on it is called E-KDSS.
The rack and pinion steering mechanism is equipped with a hydraulic booster, but an additional electromechanical one is installed on the steering shaft. It is designed not only to operate preventive safety systems, but also to increase overall performance in, say, parking modes. Hydropneumatic suspension, which at the end of life received “Two hundred”, will not – the new Land Cruiser makes do with steel springs and adaptive shock absorbers.
You can forget about the iconic V8 nameplates: from now on, the Kruzak will only have six-cylinder V-shaped turbo engines. They are, they say, more powerful, more economical, more environmentally friendly – and paired with a ten-speed hydromechanical “automatic” allow you not to spend more than seven seconds on acceleration to 100 km / h. If the 3.5 petrol engine has already lit up on the Lexus LS, then the new 3.3 turbodiesel will debut along with the SUV.
The combination of changes prompted Toyota marketers to try on the term “SUV” for the LC300 – ostensibly it emphasizes asphalt improvements. I don’t know about you, but I have an association with the word “SUV”. And you can’t call the new Land Cruiser an SUV.
Overhangs, 230 mm ground clearance, as well as the angles of entry and exit have not changed, but the front independent suspension has increased, and both inter-wheel differentials are equipped with rigid locks. The E-KDSS mechanism allows both stabilizers to unfold for greater articulation, and the Auto algorithm has appeared among the programs of the Multi-Terrain Select system.
The braking system has received an improved electro-hydraulic booster. Therefore, when working in the Crawl Control mode, the 300 should make less noise. However, the size of the calipers and discs remained the same – it seems that the work with the accompaniment will again require tuning. But Jeepers will be able to use 17-inch wheels! In Australia, these are factory-fitted on the GX. Smaller rim diameter means more tire sidewall for the same wheel size, this is important off-road. Although for Russia the minimum standard size is 18 inches.
The salon, to the delight of kinesthetics, is replete with buttons, joysticks and knobs. The maximum freedom that the manufacturer allowed himself is a display towering above the front panel (for top-end configurations with a diagonal of 12.3 inches). It looks completely out of place in a conservative salon. Even the “three hundred” instrument panel is only analogue, albeit with a seven-inch screen between the scales.
The long-awaited Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are only available wired. Moreover, the front riders have only a couple of USB connectors for loading to a 12-volt outlet: one is old-fashioned, the other is USB-C. In some trim levels, two more slots are offered for the back row. Not enough for a modern car, in which you want to put three comrades and go to photograph the northern lights. They will definitely have smartphones, cameras – even wristwatches today require charging …
Even such a trifle as a keyless engine start turned out to be conservative. Especially for Russia, the start button was equipped with a fingerprint scanner. The machine is able to memorize up to four profiles with its own settings for “climate”, steering wheel position, seats and mirrors. If the driver’s fingers are not in the system, Toyota will not be able to start. It is difficult to surprise technologically advanced users with this option – the auto industry is switching to NFC keys in smartphones with might and main.
Neither pricing nor a start date has been announced yet. It is only known that cars with a gasoline engine will enter the market earlier, the diesel will have to wait until the end of the year. A test drive of the “three hundred” is expected, according to rumors, in July (no dates have been announced officially). The first acquaintance made me, an adherent of the old school, warm feelings. However, how market-friendly a conservative approach to Toyota’s flagship SUV proves to be is a question.
She already has Prado, in which everything remained “as before, only with Carpley.” It is the LC150 that is addressed to those who need to operate a car in difficult conditions, lovers of simplicity and utility. The “three hundred” index seems to hint: it is twice as steep. But new consumers of the so-called “all-terrain vehicle” are not offered anything special, except for the multimedia interfaces that have already become traditional in the industry.
A frame with a continuous bridge is hardly a competitive advantage. But the status V8, on the contrary, is gone. For some reason, Toyota continues to cling to its rustic all-terrain image, which could prevent the new Land Cruiser from winning the favor of a discerning audience. Perhaps the fact is that it is exactly this – conservative and fashionable – they are waiting for him in the largest market in Australia. And buyers looking for technology and premium quality should wait for the new Lexus LX.
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