Toyota celebrates 60 years since the production of the first Land Cruiser in 1951;
60th Edition versions of Prado and Land Cruiser 200 imminent
Land Cruiser enthusiasts in South Africa surely have had a year to remember. With two completely new models and two special editions launched in 2011 in celebration of six decades of the Master of Africa, enthusiasts have been inundated with exciting news from the world of Land Cruiser.
Toyota kicked off its year with the introduction of the Land Cruiser 78, a hardened overlander with the same off road credentials as its Land Cruiser 79 and 76 brothers, but with an enclosed cabin as was requested by many off road enthusiasts in South Africa and neighbouring countries.
Following soon thereafter Toyota popped the champagne on six decades on unrivalled Land Cruiser success with the introduction of 60th Edition versions of the Land Cruiser 76 Station Wagon and Land Cruiser 79 Pick-Up. Available in limited numbers these two special editions offered unique options and creature comforts in a utility focussed segment. This included special 60th Edition logos on the exterior and on the specially stitched leather seats. Other features included a luxury entertainment system with in-built satellite navigation, aluminium side steps, aluminium plated bumper accents and the choice of two unique body colours.
The celebrations continued when, in August 2011, Toyota introduced the FJ Cruiser to the local Land Cruiser family. This unique and slightly off beat member of the Land Cruiser family has proven highly successful in left hand drive markets thanks to its off road prowess (its 245mm ground clearance is the best in the local Land Cruiser range), the virtually endless possibilities open to personalise the vehicle and its striking design that harks back to the first FJ models that were introduced in the sixties.
Today Toyota can announce the introduction of two other very special Land Cruiser 60th Edition models in the South African market. Again only available in very limited numbers, the Land Cruiser Prado 60th Edition and Land Cruiser 200 60th Edition will each offer unique and otherwise unavailable extra options for discerning Land Cruiser customers.
Land Cruiser 200 60th Edition
With only 60 units of this special edition available, the Land Cruiser 200 60th Edition will soon become a collector’s item. This model is offered with special chrome highlights on the rear number plate garnish, above the side protection mouldings and around the side turn signals. Other exterior highlights include special 60th Edition moulded side steps, and rear bumper/step combination. A number of 60th Edition decals round off the exterior highlights.
Inside this flagship the owner will notice illuminated 60th Edition scuff plates, a special anniversary key casing, 60th Edition emblems and a special tonneau cover.
The Land Cruiser 200 60th Edition will only be available Pearl White metallic with the powerful 4.5 litre V8 turbo diesel engine and the first versions of this vehicle will be made available in October 2011.
Land Cruiser Prado 60th Edition
Following its LC 200 60th brother 120 units of the Land Cruiser Prado 60th Edition will be introduced in December 2011. Fitted with the very popular 3.0 D-4D engine, the 60th Edition will feature the TX grade as base, but will include manual transmission, ivory coloured leather and the option of Pearl White metallic of Graphite Grey metallic as exterior colour.
As with its bigger brother, the Prado 60th Edition will boast unique 60th Edition decals on the exterior, including on the rear spare wheel cover.
Land Cruiser – an abbreviated history
The Land Cruiser’s ancestry can be traced back to the 1951 BJ Jeep, which was a truck derived model developed for military use. The BJ fast proved itself when it became the first vehicle to be driven to the sixth hill station of Japan’s Mount Fuji at a height of 2 500 meters.
This feat resulted in the Japanese police adopting the BJ into its fleet, the start of this models success. In 1955 the BJ was supplemented with the 20 Series, a BJ-derived model that was developed to offer more civilian appeal.
The now ubiquitous low range gearbox was first introduced in the Land Cruiser 40 Series, which was introduced in 1960 to replace the 20 Series. With the introduction of the 40 series Toyota celebrated 50 000 global sales, but even they could not expect the exponential growth that would follow the LC 40, as it sped ahead to push overall sales past 300 000 a mere five years later.
It was the 40 Series, and specifically the Land Cruiser FJ-45 that established this brand name in South Africa. First introduced in 1971, one can find many of the originals at Land Cruiser club events and across Southern Africa.
In 1980 Toyota introduced the 60 Series, still a favourite in Land Cruiser circles, and in 1984 the first of the 70 Series models saw the light. The 70 is still on sale today, which makes it the longest running model range for Toyota and surely one of the longest running model ranges in the world of motoring.
The year 1990 saw the introduction of the Land Cruiser 80 Series and in 1996 the Land Cruiser 90 joined the fold. The 90 Series would become the Prado in later years and it was the first Land Cruiser to feature independent front suspension.
In 1998 the Land Cruiser 100 was introduced. This model is to this day a frequent feature on overland trips and at 4×4 competitions. The 100 was replaced after a decade of success by the Land Cruiser 200, which remains Toyota’s local flagship and the NATO vehicle of choice.
List of Land Cruiser models available in South Africa
Land Cruiser 78
Engine: 1HZ: 6cylinder inline, 4.2 litres diesel, 12 valve SOHC, 96 kW @ 3 800 rpm, 285 @ 2 200 rpm
Unique features: Closed rear cabin with increased space making for a versatile people carrier or the secure storage of goods. Often used as bush ambulances.
Land Cruiser 79
Engine: 1HZ: 4.2 inline 6 diesel, 12 valve SOHC, 96 kW @ 3 800 rpm, 285 @ 2 200 rpm
1GR-FE: 4.0 V6 petrol, 24 valve DOHC with VVTi, 170 kW @ 5600rpm, 360@ 3800 rpm
Unique features: The Land Cruiser pick-up is the ruggered indestructible choice with class leading off-road capabilities
Price: R382 800-R408 600
Land Cruiser 76
Engine:- 1HZ:, 4.2 inline 6 diesel, 12 valve SOHC, 96 kW @ 3 800 rpm, 285 @ 2 200 rpm
Unique feature: 230mm ground clearance enables transporting 5 people off-road with ease
Price: R480 000
Land Cruiser FJ Cruiser
Engine: -1GR-FE: 4.0 V6 petrol, 24 valve DOHC with VVTi, 200 kW @ 5600rpm, 380Nm @ 4400rpm
Unique feature: The FJ Cruiser features unique rear hinged access doors that open towards the back to make the FJ a four door vehicle, but with the styling of a two door vehicle.
Pricing: R435 500-R457 300
Land Cruiser Prado
Engine:1KD-FTV: 3.0 4cylinder diesel, 16 valve DOHC, 120kW@3400 rpm , 400Nm@1600-2800rpm
1GR-FE: 4.0 V6 petrol, 24 valve DOHC ,202kW @5600rpm , 381kW@ 4400rpm
Unique feature: Multiterain select, with monitor and steering angle display
Price: R571 500-R696 600
Land Cruiser 200
Engine: 1VD-FTV: 4.5 V8 diesel, 32 valve DOHC, 173kW@3200rpm, 615Nm@1800-2200rpm
2UZ-FE: 4.7 V8 petrol, 32 valve DOHC with VVTi, 202kW @ 5400rpm, 410kW@3400rpm
feature: The Land Cruiser 200 is the flagship of the Land Cruiser and Toyota range and has the strongest engines in Toyota product range.
Price: R925 000-R958 800