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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Toyota Exec hints at longer wait for next generation Prado

Replacement's rumours have been circulating for three years, but Toyota remains tight-lipped.

Officially one of its oldest global models, Toyota is keeping mum on the exact debut of the next generation Land Cruiser Prado as rumours and speculative reports continue to mount.

On-sale since 2009 and recipient of numerous facelifts since then, the last being two years ago in the shape of 2.8 GD-6 turbodiesel engine South Africa received soon after, the replacement for the internally designated J150 Prado had initially been tipped for unveiling in 2021, only for an alleged push-back to 2022 that also failed to materialise.

While reported in June last year that the official reveal now looks set to happen in 2023, the automaker’s Sales and Marketing Manager for Australia, Sean Hanley, hinted in an interview with drive.com.au that buyers could be in for a longer after stating that “the current Prado is selling well and buyers love it”.

“I have no date (to share with you) on any new Prado and nothing to say on any new Prado except to say it’s a great car,” Hanley said.

Next Toyota Prado could still be some way off
Last update in 2020 brought the 150kW/500Nm 2.8 GD-6 engine in place of the old 3.0 D-4D.

Quizzed further on reports of the Prado adopting a V6 turbodiesel engine, likely the same 3.3-litre unit used by the Land Cruiser 300, and at one stage the rumoured but now seemingly cancelled GR Hilux, Hanley said, “I can’t go there. I know it’s your job, but I’m not prepared to comment on speculation”.

He also shrugged off suggestions about the Prado debuting before the next generation Hilux in a preview role, saying, “we don’t discuss future model plans. All I can say is (Prado) is a very important car will always play a very important role in our model line-up in Australia”.

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Based on recent speculation, the Prado is expected to join the Hilux and incoming Fortuner on moving to the TNGA-F platform used by the Land Cruiser 300, its Lexus LX sibling, the North American Tundra, Sequoia and all-new 4Runner that has also been shrouded in mystery.

Reported in February last year, as being earmarked for hybridisation, likely to consist of the 2.7-litre petrol engine making way for a 2.5-litre hybrid or even the new 2.4-litre turbo used in the Lexus NX and RX, the Prado could also be heading the diesel/electric route in the shape of a 48-volt mild-hybrid system being intertwined with the mentioned 2.8 GD-6.

Next Toyota Prado could still be some way off
Prado has been cited as the new rival for the all-new Ford Everest.

A configuration anticipated for the next Fortuner and more than likely also the Hilux, whose North American twin, the Tacoma, the secrecy surrounding the Prado looks set to remain as evident by the lack of test mule sightings in addition to Toyota’s silence on disclosing any details.

While not surprising, a reveal in 2023 remains the most likely, though 2024 appears just as possible at it would tie-in with what would be the Prado’s 40th anniversary.

At present though, the exact unveiling remains purely speculative, but don’t be surprised if more reports and claims emerge over the coming months and into 2023.

More on the current Prado can be viewed here.

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