Toyota discontinued their flagship Land Cruiser SUV in India earlier this year as we stepped into the BS6 era but now we have learned that the Land Cruiser nameplate will make a comeback to India in the future.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is a legendary name plate in the world of SUVs. Although bizarrely expensive, Toyota sold both the more affordable Land Cruiser Prado and the flagship SUV, the Land Cruiser in India, until the BS6 norms came in. Toyota discontinued both the models in India as we stepped into the BS6 era. Internationally, Toyota has been working on a facelift for the Land Cruiser but whether it would have come to India was unknown, until now. Yes, Toyota will be bringing back the Land Cruiser nameplate to India.
In an interview with carandbike, Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President, Sales & Service, Toyota Kirloskar Motor has admitted that, “We are not giving up that product, and definitely in some form, shape, size you will see that product coming back.” He was particularly asked if the Land Cruiser could make a comeback in India and this was his reply. The Land Cruiser is really a beast of an SUV and is widely acclaimed for its off-road ability, particularly in the deserts and wastelands. In fact, the Middle East is one of the biggest markets of the SUV and as much as 33% of global sales of Land Cruiser in 2018 was from the Middle East.
Speaking about the Land Cruiser, Mr Soni remarked, “It’s the ultimate test for any product that can sustain any environment. If you go to the Middle-East, they swear by it (Land Cruiser) because, if you had a problem with the car in the Middle East in the desert at 47-degrees outside, and if you have to be there for 6 to 7 hours it’s a matter of life and death. So, they can’t take a chance. Obviously, the reliability that the product gives, is something that is amazing.”
Toyota has been working on a facelift of the Land Cruiser for global markets and earlier this year, it was spotted in Japan without any camouflage. In fact, this facelift could be the last update to the current-generation Land Cruiser and is even said to come with a Final Edition tag. It is expected to go on sale internationally towards the end of this year as a 2021 model. The facelift is quite subtle but brings the SUV up to date by a fair bit.
From spy shots of the Land Cruiser facelift seen earlier, we know that the updated car will get a new grille with lesser chrome but with no less appeal. The grille gets a new mesh design and the bumpers have also been updated with revised fog lamps and a larger air dam. The SUV has also gained side steps, a sunroof and also gets a new design for the alloy wheels. Under the hood, the Land Cruiser facelift is expected to get a new in-line six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine in place of the existing 4.5L V8 engine. Toyota might even offer a hybrid option with the new engine. It remains to be seen if its this facelift that comes to India or will we have to wait for a brand new generation of the Land Cruiser.