Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series: Diesel V8 marked for death – report

Toyota says there’s still plenty of life left in its LandCruiser 70 Series, but that reportedly doesn’t extend to its turbo-diesel V8.

South African outlet Cars.co.za reports the 1VD-FTV 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8 will be retired from the 76 Series wagon in August 2024, before being retired from single-cab and dual-cab models in August 2025.

It warns there could be some minor leeway in these dates, but speculates this is likely a global production decision rather than one for specifically for the South African market.

It also reports no discontinuation date has been set for the even older 4.0-litre petrol V6 and 4.2-litre diesel inline-six engines offered in the 70 Series range in other markets.

The diesel six dates back to 1990, the petrol V6 to 2002, and the diesel V8 to 2007.

Toyota recently transplanted its 1GD-FTV turbo-diesel 2.8-litre four-cylinder engine into the updated 70 Series.

It’s being sold alongside the venerable V8 in Australia and models with the four-cylinder undercut their V8 counterparts on price, despite having more torque (70Nm extra, at 500Nm) and essentially the same power (150kW vs 151kW for the diesel).

Four-cylinder models also get a six-speed automatic transmission, while the V8s stick with a five-speed manual.

Other changes for the updated range include revised front-end styling with circular LED headlights, while inside there’s a new 6.7-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a 4.2-inch screen inside a revised instrument cluster.

GXL grades gain two new USB-C ports in place of the existing 12V, while the 76 Series Wagon gains a reversing camera.

All models get lane departure warning, speed sign recognition and automatic high-beam. This follows the standardisation of autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection across the range for 2023.

The LandCruiser 70 Series range will celebrate its 40th birthday next year, but Toyota says it’ll be around for a while yet.

Senior manager for vehicle evaluation and regulation in product planning and development at Toyota Australia, Ray Munday, told CarExpert there’s no way Toyota would’ve invested in a new engine for the LC70 if it wasn’t planning to keep the model alive.

“In any commercial vehicle there’s a lot of investment required, because to guarantee the kind of performance capability, quality, durability … requires a lot of work. A lot of design work, a lot of manufacturing work, a lot of evaluation work,” he said.

“Commercial vehicles have a longer life cycle. That means if you make an ill-considered change, you pay for that for a long time. That’s why any change to a commercial vehicle is really deeply considered.”

A spokesperson for Toyota opened the LandCruiser 70 launch by talking about the six-year development program that will “guarantee the future” of the model, reinforcing the notion that Toyota’s elder statesman won’t be wheeled off into the sunset just yet.

Orders are still closed for the 70 Series in Australia as Toyota works to clear a massive backlog.

It’s expecting to receive around 12,000 cars in 2024, two thirds of which are likely to be the in-demand V8.

In a bid to cut wait times, dealers are reaching out to anyone with their name down for a V8 and offering them the more readily available 2.8-litre four-cylinder model introduced as part of an update this year.

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