Posted On: Mar 9th, 2017 By: Alissa Barry Tyler
2016 Toyota Land Cruiser
The Toyota Land Cruiser has had quite an impressive history. Born from a military background, its tactical roots have grown quite a bit to become the luxurious civilian SUV it is today. Toyota gave me the the full-blown history on the Land Cruiser’s story. Here’s what I learned about Toyota’s first 8-speed automatic AND one of the most bling-worthy sports utility vehicles on the planet!
The history of the Toyota Land Cruiser began just after World War II, in 1950. The drastic rise in inflation in Japan after World War II resulted in enormous living difficulty for citizens and thus resulted in the implementation of the “Dodge line” economic stabilization policy in Japan by the U.S.A. in 1949. The extremely strict austerity measures of this financial and monetary contraction policy at last brought inflation under control. However, the drastic change in policies had a dampening effect on industrial production activities, and Japanese industries faced an even more serious period of difficult times.
With real doors, roll-down windows and available air conditioning, the 20 series brought the BJ-era Land Cruiser into civilian life. But a subtle design trait on the dashboard foretold Land Cruiser’s future: the glove box and instrument panel were identically shaped and interchangeable, making manufacturing a left-hand- or right-hand-drive version equally easy. For Toyota, foreign markets were the new target. Toyota called it the “Land Cruiser Strategy”: Establish a bridgehead in a new country with Land Cruiser and then follow it with passenger cars. Other marketing savvy included adjusting chassis length to market demand, and creating pickups and wagons—soft- and hardtops, four-doors and two-doors.
The FJ40 is the most iconic Land Cruiser. It is instantly recognizable: a simple, two-box hardtop with wraparound rear windows and dual swing-out doors. But durability made the design a legend. According to one expert, it is still “the standard of the industry,” with more 40 series still running than any other off-road vehicle. The 40 series gave the marque low-range gearing, a jump in horsepower and payload, and a greater variety of body styles and engines than ever before. And in the 40 series, Toyota’s “Land Cruiser Strategy” truly began to cover the earth, with over a million made in 24 years on the market.
Based on the FJ40, the FJ45 is a pickup version of that model. The FJ45 was only available in the United States from 1963-1967. The FJ45 featured either a fixed hardtop or a removable hardtop. The FJ45 Land Cruiser was available as a 4-Door Wagon, a Short Bed Pickup or a Long Bed Pickup. While the Long Bed and Wagon models are rare, the Short Bed version is extremely rare. Both of the original pickup lengths were available with a fixed or removable top and doors, and as a 4-Door Wagon. All of which are extremely rare.
The all-new 60 series got its start in 1980 with new gasoline and diesel engines, new transmissions and new luxuries, like a moon roof, sport buckets and a third-row seat. Toyota was aiming for on-road comfort, but off-road standbys were retained: front and rear solid axles and two locking differentials. The result was a blended vehicle like no other. Eventually, some 2500 variations would be made throughout the world. The mechanic concludes his comments with the story of a guy who’s got 650,000 miles on his Land Cruiser. But it’s not being towed to the junkyard. It’s his daily driver.
The FJ62 shares the 60 series category with the FJ60. The notable upgrades from the FJ60 to the FJ62 were the fuel-injected 4.0-liter 6-cylinder 3F-EFI engine, an automatic transmission, rectangular headlights, larger side view mirrors and power options. Like the FJ60, the FJ62 owners enjoyed plenty of interior space compared to previous Land Cruisers.
The worldwide response to the new 80 series was overwhelming: the main plant had to stay open around the clock for six months straight. That was unprecedented—much like the 80 series itself.
Luxury and capability were integrated like never before. The long-standing solid axles were replaced with a coil-spring suspension—but with greater suspension travel. Passengers were met with available leather and a refrigerator—and a space in the dashboard allowed for a two-way radio. And off-road competence just increased. Full-time 4WD replaced the part-time system, and a locking center differential was added to the drivetrain. Utilitarian models of the 80 series continued to be used on Australian ranches. But luxury models were here to stay.
The VDJ79 was an evolution of the 70 series Land Cruiser that was first introduced in late 1984. Though never offered in the United States, the 70 series is the true inheritor of the FJ40’s no-nonsense spirit. Light and compact as compared with its 60 and 80 series contemporaries, the 70 series has always maintained a strong emphasis on capability over creature comfort. Its rugged, simple sensibilities have helped to keep it in production for over 20 years. For 2007, the FJ79 was fitted with the brand-new 1VD-FTV engine, Toyota’s first intercooled turbo-diesel V8.
The 200 Series Land Cruiser was first introduced globally in 2002. Over six decades of know-how went into the engineering of this SUV, fusing new, modern luxuries with legendary capability. In 2013, this icon transformed into the off-road flagship it is today. Every Land Cruiser is loaded with refined creature comforts like heated and ventilated front seats, leather-wrapped surfaces and four-zone automatic climate control. Terrain-conquering prowess is enhanced with standard technologies like an advanced 5.7-liter V8, standard Crawl Control (CRAWL) and Multi-terrain Monitor. This is how we take adventuring to the next level. Here’s to another 60 years of exploring.
The 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser has a loyalty unmatched by any other SUV. The product of over 60 years of global adventure, it’s a sophisticated blend of off-road prowess, on-road comfort and unparalleled refinement. It also offers seating for up to eight passengers. After all, adventures are best shared.
Toyota: Yes, military.
When the National Police Reserve Forces (now called the Japan Self-Defense Forces) was first established it depended entirely on the U.S. Military for all of its equipment, however very quickly it was urged that domestic sources of supply be developed. Part of the motivation was to create a base in Japan through which the U.S. Military could procure military vehicles for use throughout the Asia region, but Japanese automakers were asked to produce prototypes for compact 4×4 trucks and other vehicles.
In response Toyota began designing such vehicles in August of the same year, and by January of 1951 had produced a prototype. The prototype was a truck with a B-type gasoline powered water-cooled in-line 6-cylinder 3,386cc engine, installed on a SB-type 1-ton truck chassis. At the time there were many Jeeps being driven in Japan, which had been brought in by the occupying forces, and the Jeep came to be the symbol of the 4×4. For this reason Toyota called its prototype the Toyota Jeep, and by combining a B-type engine with a Jeep model it was known as the BJ.
However, the vehicle which was ultimately selected for procurement by the National Police Reserve Forces was the Willys Jeep. The Toyota Jeep BJ had been rejected on this project, but in July of the same year test driver Ichiro Taira did a test run under the supervision of officials from the National Police Agency, and performed brilliantly, climbing by car all the way up to the No. 6 checkpoint on Mt. Fuji. The test run was viewed favorably, and in August this model was officially adopted as the patrol car for the National Police Agency.
Toyota: The 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser is the ninth generation of the vehicle.
Toyota: The Land Cruiser body is new from the A-pillar forward. The all new bumper, grille, projector-beam LED low and high beam headlights, headlight cleaners and integrated Land Cruiser logo, contribute to the new design signature. It also includes Toyota’s first 8-speed automatic transmission, which helps enhance acceleration. The rear exterior is all new, too, with taillights with light-tube design and LED brake lights, a new full-width chrome molding and a new bumper. A chrome body side molding embossed with the Land Cruiser logo and new-design 18-inch alloy wheels accentuate the Land Cruiser’s muscular profile.
The 2016 Land Cruiser is also the first in the model’s history equipped with technology designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions and, under certain circumstances, help protect pedestrians in a collision. The new Toyota Safety Sense-P system includes Frontal Collision Avoidance, at speeds below 24 mph (including pedestrian protection); Frontal Collision Mitigation (also for speeds below 24 mph); Lane Departure Alert; Auto High Beams and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. The 2016 Land Cruiser can help the driver avoid hazards with the new Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. All the new driver-assist systems come standard. A backup camera is also standard, and also useful for hitching a trailer.
Toyota: In the U.S., the 2016 Land Cruiser comes in one trim: 4WD 5.7L V8 8-Speed Automatic Transmission.
Toyota: Some of the Land Cruiser’s best features include:
Toyota: The Denver Region ranks fifth in the country in terms of Land Cruiser sales. The most Land Cruisers are sold in the Gulf States Region.