A blurry image found online appears to show an updated Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series being tested in Japan.
The new Toyota Land-Cruiser 70 Series popularly known here as ‘Mkonga,’ has been photographed in Japan with what appears to be its first serious cosmetic alteration in more than 15 years.
There is a big chance that the new ‘Mkongas’ could start shipping to these shores anytime in 2024.
But being the de facto Safari vehicle in Tanzania and East Africa for more than 30 years now, will the new, face lifted Land Cruiser be able to handle the rough terrains that are part and parcel of the region’s tourism escapades?
Its older siblings, dating back to the days of the 40 series, have been tackling all types of rough surfaces with ease, albeit less cabin comfort.
They may not be as versatile as say the military level Jeeps or the older British Land Rovers but Cruisers have been holding up well and becoming the only off-road option after Landrover drew the curtains on its iconic 110 Defenders.
But of late, new vehicles have been mellowing a lot, softer outer shells and rather too much electronic panels in the innards.
Is the new model going to maintain Land-Cruiser’s rugged-ability or is it another journey down the softened cars that most manufacturers produce nowadays?
Details are difficult to make out, but the grille appears to bear the ‘Toyota,’ name, which is becoming the norm with most of the latter models that seem to ditch the trademark iconic round symbol.
The new ‘Land cruiser 70,’ batch features rounded headlights like their oldest ancestors they are different from the current models christened ‘Macho Panzi,’ (Grasshopper eyes) in Tanzania.
Both the lights and front grille look suspiciously like what you will see in the new Suzuki Jimny.
Release of the redesigned Land-Cruiser 70 series, according to ‘Drive,’ is set to coincide with the introduction of 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder power and a six-speed automatic transmission, borrowed from the Toyota Prado and Toyota HiLux.
Apparently, this will be the first four-cylinder Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series to be released since the 1991 batches.
The New LC-70 will also become the first automatic version since a four-speed gearbox was discontinued during the 1990 production.
The anticipated 2024 models will feature the first facelift for the Land Cruiser 70 Series since 2007, when the turbodiesel V8 joined the range, which necessitated the wider front fascia and broader front-wheel track.