Possible 70 series Landcruiser successor in the works

Submitted: Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013 at 16:33
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Toyota has started development of a replacement for its venerable 70 Series workhorse, which celebrates its 30th birthday next year.

Much like Land Rover’s Defender and the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the 70 Series has become an iconic commercial vehicle after decades on sale in various guises, including ute, wagon and TroopCarrier derivatives.

Most recently, Toyota developed a dual-cab version, with the LC79 arriving in September 2012 as part of a range-wide upgrade that finally brought anti-lock brakes (ABS) to a package that has remained virtually unchanged since 1984.

Last year’s upgrade was widely expected to be the last for the 70 Series, with tightening safety and emissions requirements leading Toyota to reveal the model will likely be killed off before strict new Euro 5 emissions standards come into force in Australia in 2016.

In fact, Toyota has admitted it would never have invested in the development of the LC79 twin-cab had it known in May 2012 that mining giant BHP Billiton was preparing to mandate a five-star ANCAP safety rating for its fleet vehicles on OHS grounds.

Like Nissan’s Patrol ute, the 70 Series remains a three-star vehicle, but there are hopes the 70 Series can be reclassified as a truck – and therefore exempt from BHP’s five-star fleet vehicle requirement.

Toyota has stated the 70 Series, which was fitted with twin front airbags in 2009 but remains unavailable with traction or stability control, will never be upgraded to achieve a five-star safety rating.

All light commercial vehicles purchased by the Australian government have been required to have a four-star safety rating since July 2012.

Nevertheless, Australia remains one of the world’s top three destinations for the 70 Series, alongside the Middle East and South Africa, attracting about 6500 sales a month globally.

Last year almost 8000 utility examples were sold here and so far this year Toyota has shifted about 6700 – not counting LC78 two-door or LC76 four-door wagon versions – with most going to miners and farmers.

Now, contrary to previous reports, it has emerged an all-new successor is being developed for the 70 Series.

Speaking at the Australian launch of the facelifted 150 Series LandCruiser Prado, chief engineer Sadayoshi Koyari – who is also the chief engineer for the 70 and 200 Series LandCruisers – said a 70 Series replacement was “under study”.

Toyota Australia Executive Director of Sales and Marketing, Tony Cramb, confirmed to motoring.com.au that preliminary work has begun on a 70 Series successor, but would not reveal timing.

“A new 70 Series is seriously under consideration right now,” he said, before cautioning that no redesigned model had yet been locked in.

“Smarter people than me are investigating whether it’s worth the development of a new 70 Series. With a more capable HiLux coming, what does it need to be and how many would we sell?”

Land Rover is understood to have locked in a replacement for its time-honoured Defender, which dates back to 1948 and will cease production in December 2015 after a continuous production run of 67 years.

However, there is no sign of a replacement for either the Patrol ute or the 30-year-old G-Class, which Mercedes recently revealed could soldier on for at least another decade and in 2010 beat the Defender to a 15-year Australian army fleet contract.

I wonder if this is actually the next generation Tundra??

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Reply By: mikehzz - Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013 at 20:04

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013 at 20:04
The G Wagon didn't really beat the Defender to the Army contract. Land Rover didn't put in a tender.
AnswerID: 521384

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013 at 20:14

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013 at 20:14
Hmmmm bring it on...
I'm still adjusting to the luxury of a 200series (something I probably don't feel comfortable with - a bit too posh for me)
But an updated, revised 70series with maybe an auto trans and better safety.... and brakes that work...and a dual cab tray version.....Yep I'd like that but it ain't going to happen for a few years
AnswerID: 521385

Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013 at 23:27

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013 at 23:27
It will be a sad day.
My Troopy has manual hubs, manual gear box, no ABS, no airbags and no traction control.
I’ve survived without all that fruit for 68 years and think I can see a few more years without the need either.
Can’t see the value in the flash ones with a button for downhill travel, another for snow, another for sand or mud etc - and I’ve pulled a few of them out of trouble.
AnswerID: 521402

Follow Up By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Thursday, Nov 14, 2013 at 11:18

Thursday, Nov 14, 2013 at 11:18
Like you Dennis, I just like the reliability, the agricultural feel and simplicity!
FollowupID: 802102

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