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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Toyota Land Cruiser 300 heading the diesel/electric route?

The Japanese giant ended sales of the V8 petrol Land Cruiser 200 in Australia due to the 4.5 D-4D V8 accounting for nearly 100% of all sales.

In an unexpected twist, the incoming Toyota Land Cruiser 300 could dispense with the petrol/electric hybrid powertrain in favour of a diesel/electric setup.

Tipped to make its long awaited unveiling in Tokyo next month, Australia’s whichcar.com.au reports that the automaker’s Vice-President of Sales and Marketing Down Under, Sean Hanley, had let slip that the Land Cruiser will continue to offer a diesel engine when asked about the future of an oil-burning motor.

“We’re a big market for Land Cruiser in Australia. We’re always analysing the future and market trends… there are many variants of electrification,” he said, moments after giving the thumbs up for the continuation of a diesel fuelled Land Cruiser.

The announcement comes on the back of increasing reports that the first all-new Land Cruiser in 12 years will adopt a twin-turbocharged V6 engine, likely the 3.5-litre badged 3.4-litre motor from the Lexus LS, with a hybrid joining at a later stage. Earlier this month, the Japanese giant officially ended sales of the 4.6-litre V8 petrol Land Cruiser 200 in Australia, due to the 4.5 D-4D V8 model accounting for nearly 100% of all sales throughout the year so far.

“We’ve still got a number of customers who see diesel as important for the performance of their vehicles, for the torque. For the big SUVs we are still committed to diesel… whatever we apply has got to be fit for purpose, it’s got to meet the requirements of the customer,” Toyota Australia Product Planning Head, Rod Ferguson, told the online publication.

With Toyota having already indicated that all of its models will feature a form of electrification by 2025, speculation is that the diesel/electric Land Cruiser, if indeed approved, could touch down in South Africa whereas the petrol will most likely to offered in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Japan.

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