Toyota Land Cruiser 2013

The king of SUVs is set for yet another makeover. The Land Cruiser is a four-wheel drive that just keeps on going, and has done since it first left Toyota’s factory in Aichi back in 1951. This was the same year the Korean War was in full swing, the Cold War hadn’t even been invented yet and Dennis the Menace cartoons appeared for the first time.

Toyota Land Cruiser 2013

Toyota LC – 2013 re-launch

Now, 61 years later, the Toyota Land Cruiser is about to be re-launched again, with a new edition that looks as robust and stylish as ever. The 2013 version of the world’s oldest SUV is due to be showcased at the Chicago Auto Show in the second week of February. Expect upgrades galore.

Features that were once considered optional on the Land Cruiser are set to come as standard, including trailer sway control, anti-lock breaking and turn assist steering. Inside, the Land Cruiser remains a high-quality affair but there are improvements too, including an additional 12 Volt DC power outlet to the rear of the centre console.

Toyota LC – Purchase Price

Prices start at just under £45,000 and go up to over £60,000.

Toyota LC - Exterior

The exterior features upgraded tail lamps and side mirrors, and under the bonnet you can expect a 5.7-litre V8 DOHC engine that produces 381 horsepower. That is the same as the top-of-the-range 200 series, the most current on the market. One of the big differences between these two latest versions is the body styling.

Toyota LC – Fewer Curves

Although the 2007 version introduced a new, stronger frame and redesigned roof pillars to better protect those inside during a rollover, the styling of the body was widely deemed to be a bit of a letdown. Not so with the new 2013 edition. Pictures released thus far suggest it will feature fewer curves but should represent a return to the more muscular looking Land Cruisers of days past, with refined, elegant styling up front.

Toyota LC - History

For Toyota, this latest makeover could not have come soon enough. In the world’s largest car market, the US, the Japanese automaker sold more than 3,800 units in 2008 but those numbers dropped off as the global financial crisis took hold, with just 2,220 units sold in 2009 and 1,800 in 2010. This contrasts sharply with the heady days at the turn of the millennium, when Toyota sold more than 15,500 Land Cruisers in 2000.

Toyota Land Cruiser – Interior Seats

Toyota LC - Engine

Since the release of the 2007 version, there have been a few minor tweaks to the king of SUVs. In Japan, Toyota added a 4.6-litre V8 engine to its options list, while the gearbox also received something of a makeover, with a new six-speed automatic added. The new, smaller engine resulted in an overall upgrade, with a rise in horsepower from 284hp to 314hp.

Toyota LC – Additional Options

The options on the 2013 Land Cruiser remain unknown. Traditionally Toyota has offered a more limited range of trim levels in the US market compared to those in Japan, in particular, so expect the same this time round. Overall, the new version of the world’s oldest SUV is unlikely to pull off any surprises when it’s unveiled this month. After 61 years, that would be impossible and that’s not what this vehicle is about. The Land Cruiser is all about improving something that was near perfect previously, so expect more of the same.

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