DUE FOR AN UPGRADE

The Toyota Land Cruiser May Finally Be Getting a New Engine


October 17, 2019 Cars By

Toyota rebadges and restyles the Land Cruiser for Lexus as the LX570, and the consistent refrain about the range-topping body-on-frame SUV twins is just how ancient they have become. The current generation debuted for the 2008 model year. However, judging from a Lexus trademark filing found by AutoGuide, the long-awaited update may be happening.

Toyota filed a trademark for a Lexus LX600; an updated Land Cruiser, it should be noted, would not need another trademark as Toyota does not use numbers for model names. That new trademark suggests the model will be distinct from the current LX570 with a new engine.

Don’t expect an even larger 6.0-liter engine. The name LX570 comes from the 5.7-liter V8 engine. But Lexus, like other manufacturers, has stopped linking the model number to engine displacement. Engine displacements are getting smaller with greater efficiency, and the concept holds little value with hybrids and electric engines.

It’s more likely the Land Cruiser/LX (13 mpg city) would drop weight and engine size for greater efficiency. A report from Australia’s Car Advice over the summer suggested the Land Cruiser would move to a turbocharged V6 for a 2021 update, with a hybrid coming down the road. The lack of an “h” on the end of LX600 indicates it won’t be a hybrid initially.

A similar move from a V8 to a turbocharged V6 (mostly) did not affect Ford F-150 sales. A six-cylinder Land Cruiser, meanwhile, would not be viewed as much of a heresy. The traditional Land Cruiser engine until 1998 was an inline-six.

The Land Cruiser and LX570 are already outmoded in the present luxury SUV marketplace. That market will move further into the future shortly when Rivian’s R1S becomes a direct competitor. If the models are to survive, they must adapt, which means getting much more efficient. And if this trademark filing represents what we suspect it does, that’s exactly what they’re aiming to do.

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