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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Toyota Land Cruiser 300’s forecasted debut now set for April next year

Newly claimed earlier than expected unveiling falls in-line with an initial prediction three months ago.

With it being reported last month that Toyota would be ending production of the Land Cruiser 200 in March next year, the newest in a slew of rumours and speculative reports is that the all-new 300 will debut the following month instead of September.

In what appears to be a confirmation of reports first published three months ago, Japan’s Best Car claims that Toyota dealers have been notified of the 300’s world unveiling in April, which falls in-line with the Japanese spring that runs from March to May.

Initially earmarked for unveiling in August this year but subsequently pushed back to next year due the Coronavirus, the 300 will ride on a special body-on-frame version of the TNGA platform called TNGA-F and measure 4 950 mm in overall length while sporting a wheelbase of 2 900 mm, width of 1 985 mm and height of 1 880 mm. Seating will be provided for five or eight with the low range transfer ‘box remaining.

In what has been the main source of confusion since for over a year though, the 300 will continue to offer a V8 engine, but only in select markets such as the Middle East and United States as a V6 line-up will be utilised elsewhere. Whereas the mentioned V8 will be the same 4.7-litre petrol unit doing duty in 200, the range-topping global engine will be the same 3.5-litre badged 3.4-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 used in the Lexus LS 500 with a hybrid version of the same engine, albeit without turbocharging, serving as the alternative.

As has been reported on a number of occasions already, the 4.5 D-4D turbodiesel V8  avwill remainailable in the 70-series for the time being, but make way for a new 3.3-litre V6 in the 300 projected to produce 200kW/650Nm. While still to be confirmed, it is expected that the bent-six will be the sole option for the incoming GR Hilux.

Meanwhile, the uncovering of a new trademark application Down Under has suggested a possible new trim level designation at the top of the 300 line-up. Based on the submission to Australia’s Intellectual Property office, whichcar.com.au claims that the Sahara ZX moniker could designate either the special edition Land Cruiser 200 that will see production out, or represent the summit of the 300 line-up.

If indeed referring to the latter, it would either replace or slot-in above the Sahara that serves the flagship 200 above the entry-level GX, second-tier GXL and mid-range VX.  Toyota has however remained mum on the intended use of the nomenclature, telling the online publication that, “our head office in Japan has registered this latest trademark to give us maximum flexibility in the future, however, we have no further announcements to make at this stage on any future products related to Land Cruiser”.

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