The Toyota Land Cruiser is a series of four-wheel drive vehicles produced by the Japanese car maker Toyota Motor Corporation. Design of the Land Cruiser began in 1951 as Toyota's version of a Jeep-like vehicle and production began in 1954. The Land Cruiser has been produced in convertible, hardtop, station wagon, and utility truck versions. It is currently Toyota's flagship SUV.
In 1941 the Japanese Imperial Army occupied the Philippines, where they obtained a Bantam Mk II, and promptly brought it to Japan. The Japanese military authorities commanded Toyota to make a similar vehicle but to not model the appearance on the American Jeep. The prototype was called the Model AK and was formally adopted by The Japanese Imperial Army as the Yon-Shiki Kogata Kamotsu-Sha (四式小型貨物車 The Imperial era 2604th model compact cargo-truck ).
Later in 1941 the Japanese government asked Toyota to produce a light truck for the Japan military campaign. Toyota developed a 1/2 ton prototype called the AK10 in 1942. The AK10 was built using reverse-engineering from the Bantam GP. There are no known surviving photographs of the AK10. The only known pictorial representations are some rough sketches. The truck featured an upright front grille, flat front wheel arches that angled down and back like the FJ40, headlights mounted above the wheel arches on either side of the radiator and a folding windshield.
The AK10 used the 2259 cc, 4-cylinder Type C engine from the Toyota Model AE sedan with a three-speed manual transmission and two-speed transfer gearbox connected to it. There is no mechanical relationship between the AK10 and the postwar Toyota Jeep BJ. Most of the AK10's were not actively used (unlike the U.S. Jeep) and there are almost no photographs of it in the battlefield.
First generation - Model BJ and FJ (1951–1955)
- 1950 - The Korean War created demand for a military light utility vehicle. The war put a Jeep on Japan's doorstep. The United States government ordered 100 vehicles with the new Willys specs and Toyota was asked to build them.
- 1951 - The Toyota Jeep BJ prototype was developed in January 1951. This came from the demand for military-type utility vehicles, much like the British Land Rover Series 1 that appeared in 1948. The Jeep BJ was larger than the original U.S. Jeep and more powerful thanks to its Type B 3.4-liter six-cylinder OHV Gasoline engine which generated at 3600 rpm and torque at 1600 rpm. It had a part-time four-wheel drive system like the Jeep. Unlike the Jeep, however, the Jeep BJ had no low-range transfer case.
- 1951 - In July 1951, Toyota's test driver Ichiro Taira drove the next generation of the Jeep BJ prototype up to the sixth stage of Mt. Fuji, the first vehicle to climb that high. The test was overseen by the National Police Agency (NPA). Impressed by this feat, the NPA quickly placed an order for 289 of these offroad vehicles, making the Jeep BJ their official patrol car.
- 1953 - Regular production of the "Toyota Jeep BJ" began at Toyota Honsya Plant (Rolling chassis assembly), and body assembly and painting was done at Arakawa Bankin Kogyo KK, later known as アラコ (now an affiliate of Toyota Auto Body Co.). The "Toyota Jeep BJ" Series was introduced alongside the following:
- BJ-T (Touring),
- BJ-R (Radio),
- BJ-J (Cowl-chassis for a fire-engine).
- 1954 - The name "Land Cruiser" was created by the technical director Hanji Umehara. "In England we had another competitor - Land Rover. I had to come up with a name for our car that would not sound less dignified than those of our competitors. That is why I decided to call it 'Land Cruiser'," he recalls.
- 1954 - The 125 hp, 3.9-liter Type F gasoline engine added for the fire-engine chassis. Models are renamed as:
- BJ-T (Touring),
- BJ-R (Radio),
- BJ-J (Cowl-chassis for a fire-engine),
- FJ-J (Cowl-chassis for a fire-engine).
20 Series (1955–1960)
- 1955 - The Second generation, 20 Series was introduced. It was designed to have more civilian appeal than the BJ for export reasons. It also had more stylish bodywork and a better ride thanks to longer four-plate leaf springs which had been adapted from the Toyota Light Truck. It had a more powerful 3.9-liter six-cylinder Type F gasoline engine. The interior of the vehicles were made more comfortable by moving the engine forward. The 20 Series still had no low range, but it had synchromesh on the third and fourth gears.
- 1958 - The first Station wagon Land Cruiser was introduced with an even longer wheelbase (the FJ35V; wagon and van). The FJ-25 production started in Brazil being the first Toyota vehicle built outside Japan.
- 1959 - The first Toyota vehicles were exported to Australia initially for use in mines, dam construction, and snowy areas. 4-door Station Wagon, FJ35V was added.
40 Series (1960–1984)
- 1960 - The 20 Series was upgraded to the now classic 40. Toyota made many production changes by buying new steel presses. Mechanically, the FJ40 was given a new 125 hp, 3.9 liter F engine and the Land Cruiser finally received low-range gearing. The Brazilian model was rebadged the Bandeirante and received a Mercedes-Benz built Diesel engine generating 78 hp.
- 1965 - Global production surpassed 50,000 vehicles. The Land Cruiser was the best selling Toyota in the United States.
- 1968 - The 100,000th Land Cruiser was sold worldwide.
- 1972 - The 200,000th Land Cruiser was sold worldwide.
- 1973 - The 300,000th Land Cruiser was sold worldwide. The first diesel Land Cruiser was introduced for export on long wheelbase models and it had a six-cylinder H engine.
- 1974 - A four-cylinder 3.0-liter B diesel was offered. The introduction of this engine boosted sales in Japan by putting the Land Cruiser in a lower tax compact Freight-car category than it's 3.9-liter gasoline version. Note: the new B diesel engine was different from the B gasoline engine used in the original BJ.
- 1975 - The 3.9-liter gasoline engine was replaced by a larger, more powerful 4.2-liter 2F unit. The FJ55 received front disc brakes.
- 1976 - United States-version FJ40 Land Cruisers received front disc brakes like the FJ55. The Toyota Land Cruiser Association was founded in California.
- 1977 - The Irish Army took delivery of the first of 77 FJ45 Land Cruisers. Although fast, reliable and with good off-road performance the type tended to rust excessively in the wet Irish climate. A few which did not succumb to the effects of weather were repainted in gloss olive green and survive as ceremonial gun tractors at military funerals.
- 1978 - The first BJ / FJ40 and FJ55 models were officially sold in West Germany with both diesel (BJ40) petrol engines (FJ40 /55).
- 1979 - United States-version FJ40s were updated this year with a new wider, square bezel surrounding the headlights. Power steering and cooler were offered in FJ40s for the first time. The diesel engine was improved, evolving into the 3.2-liter 2B only in Japan.
- 1981 - the Diesel version was improved receiving front disc brakes and the more powerful 3.5l displacement 90hp 3B-Engine.
Model 55 and 56 (1967–1980)
- 1967 - Production of the FJ55 began. The FJ55 was a 4-door station wagon version based on the FJ40's Drive-train, replacing the 4-Door FJ45V (I). It was colloquially known as the "Moose". It has also been referred to as a pig or an iron pig. The FJ55 had a longer wheelbase 2710 mm and was designed to be sold in North America and Australia.
- Model 56 is in Japan only, with 2F engine (Jan. 1975 - Jul. 1980 ).
60 Series (1980–1990)
- 1980 - The 60 series was introduced. While still retaining the rugged off-road characteristics of previous Land Cruisers, the 60 was designed to better compete in the emerging sport utility vehicle market. The 60 was given a variety of comforts like air conditioning, a rear heater and an upgraded interior. The FJ60's "2F" petrol engine was left unchanged from the "40" series while six-cylinder 4.0 litre 2H and four-cylinder 3.4 litre 3B diesel engines were added to the product line.
- 1981 - Land Cruiser sales surpassed 1 million and a high-roof version was introduced. The 60 was introduced to South Africa when a stock Land Cruiser competed in the Toyota 1000km Desert Race in the punishing wilds of Botswana.
- 1984 - This was the final year for the 40. Specialist suppliers of aftermarket parts and restorers who return old FJ40s to better-than-new condition replace Toyota dealers as the main source of Land Cruiser expertise.
- 1984 - Alongside the 60, the Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series were introduced. 70Heavy as a soft-top, hard-top, FRPtop, utility, cab-chassis, and Troop Carrier (inward facing rear seats).The petrol engine was replaced with a 4.0-litre 3F engine. The 70 Light had a four-wheel coil spring solid-axle suspension for better ride quality. This lighter duty version of the Land Cruiser had the 22R 2.4-litre gasoline engine, 2L and 2L-T (turbo ) 2.4-litre diesel engines. The 70 Light was sold in some markets as the Landcruiser II, later called 70 Prado. The 70 Prado eventually became popular and evolved into the 90. An automatic transmission (A440F) was introduced making it the first four-wheel drive Japanese vehicle with an automatic transmission.
- 1985 - The Direct-injection 12H-T and 13B-T turbodiesel engine were introduced.
- 1988 - The petrol engine was upgraded to a 4.0-litre 3F-E EFI engine. The FJ62G VX-Series was introduced allowing the Land Cruiser to be sold in Japan as a passenger vehicle.
- 1990 - The 80 series station wagon was introduced, replacing the 60. The 80 was initially offered with a choice of three engines; the 3F-E six-cylinder petrol engine, a six-cylinder the 1 Hz diesel and 1HD-T direct injection turbodiesel.
- 1990 - All 80s sold in North America and Europe now have a full-time four-wheel drive system. In Japan, Africa and Australia, a part-time system was still available. 80s produced between 1990 and 1991 had an open centre differential which was lockable in 4HI and automatically locked in 4LO. From 1992 onward, vehicles with anti-lock brakes had a viscous coupling that sent a maximum of 30% torque to the non-slipping axle. The differential was lockable in 4HI and automatically locked in 4LO.
- The Sixth and Seventh generations of the Land Cruiser are still being produced and sold in African and Latin American regions, Venezuela is one of them, the Sixth generation is sold under the nickname of "Machito" (MACHO in Spanish is a very strong man, MACHITO is his son. English) and the Seventh being nicknamed "Autana" (After a mountain in the Gran Sabana region of Venezuela). The 70 series (6th generation) is also still marketed in Australia as 4-door medium wheelbase, 2-door 'Troop Carrier' and 2-door utility.
70 Series (1985–present)
- 1984 - 70 Series was introduced.
- 1990 - New-generation diesel engines were introduced including a five-cylinder SOHC naturally aspirated motor (1PZ),and a six-cylinder SOHC naturally aspirated motor (1 HZ).
- 1993 - An advanced 24-valve, 4.5-litre six-cylinder petrol engine, 1FZ-FE was introduced.
- 1999 - Toyota updated the 70 series in several ways. The solid front axle received coil-spring suspension. The rear leaf springs were lengthened for increased ride comfort and wheel travel. The six-bolt wheels were replaced with five-bolt wheels. Several smaller modifications to the drivetrain provided increased durability. The long-wheel-base models received new designations: 78 for the troop carrier, and 79 for the pick-up.
- 2002 - HDJ79 is introduced to Australia with the 1HD-FTE 4.2-litre six-cylinder 24-valve turbodiesel EFI engine.
- 2007 - Toyota's first turbodiesel V8 engine, the 1VD-FTV was released in some countries for the 70 Series Land Cruiser. Other modifications include the addition of a 4-door medium-wheel-base model (the 76) and a significantly altered front look on all models.
80 Series (1990–2008)
The Land Cruiser 80 series was introduced in late 1989. It had swing-out back doors, which were replaced by a winch door in 1995. The Land Cruiser was made into the models called the Burbuja in Colombia, and Autana.
- 1990 - New-generation diesel engines were introduced, a six-cylinder SOHC naturally aspirated motor (1 HZ) , and a six-cylinder SOHC turbo-charged engine (1HD-T). Land Cruiser sales reached 2 million vehicles. The 80 was introduced to the Australian market with two diesel and a four litre inline six-cylinder petrol carb engine.(3FE Engine)(derived from the earlier 2F petrol motor from the 60 series.)
- 1993 - An advanced 24-valve, 4.5-litre six-cylinder petrol engine, 1FZ-FE was introduced. Larger brakes were added and the total wheelbase was made slightly longer.Front and rear axle lockers (code k294) appeared as an option.
- 1994 - A limited edition Landcruiser Blue Marlin was introduced into the Australian Market and only 500 where made, limited to Australia.They have 4.5L petrol motors. The car is Blue from the Blue Marlin fish and they have the Blue Marlin logo on the back door.They were standard GLX models but as this was the Blue Marlin it had more features such as altimeters, power windows, leather trim, manual or automatic, chrome handles and sidesteps and a limited Bull Bar which is very hard to find these days. Here is a picture of the Blue Marlin:
- 1995 - Driver and passenger airbags were introduced as were adjustable shoulder-belt anchors and an anti-lock braking system. The "T O Y O T A" badge was replaced with the modern Toyota logo (which is sometimes described as a "bean with a hat" aka "the sombrero").
- 1996 - In the Dakar Rally, a pair of Land Cruisers finished first and second in the unmodified production class. All American and British 80s adopted anti-lock brakes and airbags as standard equipment. Alongside the 70 and 80, the 90 Prado was added. The 90 Prado was made by Tahara Plant, available as a 3-door short wheelbase and 5-door long wheelbase version with either the 5VZ-FE petrol engine (24-valve six-cylinder, 3.4-litre), the 3RZ-FS (four-cylinder 2.7-litre) petrol engine or the 1KZ-TE turbodiesel (four-cylinder 3.0-litre) and 5L diesel(four-cylinder 3.0-litre). The Land Cruiser was withdrawn from Canada this year and was replaced by the Lexus LX.
- 1997- A limited run of Land Cruiser 80s was built specifically for collectors and therefore called the Land Cruiser Collector's Edition. The Collectors Edition sported Collectors Edition badging, "Collector's Edition" embroidered floor mats, automatic climate control, wheels with the "D" windows painted dark grey and special grey sidelines and grilles. The Collectors Edition was only available for the 1997 model year and the package was added to many of the available body colors.
- 1997- An unknown number of FZJ-80 Land Cruisers were sold in the United States as "40th Anniversary Limited Edition" models. They were available in Antique Sage Pearl (Often referred to as Riverrock, Pewter or Grey) and Emerald Green. The 40th Anniversary models included apron badging, a numeralized badge on the centre console, "40th Anniversary Limited Edition" embroidered floor mats, automatic climate control, two-tone tan and brown leather interiors and wheels with the "D" windows painted dark grey. It is incorrect to claim that all 40th Anniversary trucks came with every available option. While many did include the highly desired electric front and rear locking differentials, keyless entry, port-installed roof racks and running boards, there are some examples that did not have many of these extras.
- 2008- Last vehicle was built in Venezuela, the only country in which was built since 1997
100 Series (1998-2007)
- 1998 - Toyota introduced the 100 Land Cruiser to replace the 80. At launch the UZJ100 featured the first eight-cylinder engine (4.7-litre 32-valve 2UZ-FE petrol engine) in a Toyota four wheel drive. Other engines in non-US markets included the 1HD-FT/E turbodiesel. For the first time in Land Cruiser history, the 100 Series featured independent front suspension for increased on-road handling. In Africa and certain other markets, Toyota offered a 105 model, which retained the solid front axle for more demanding off-road use. The Land Cruiser won Australian 4WD Monthly's "4x4 Of The Year" award for the third time in a row. It was called the Land Cruiser Amazon in the UK until 2003.
- 2000 - 50th Anniversary of the Land Cruiser. Total global production to date is 3.72 million vehicles. 90 Prados get active traction control (Active TRAC), vehicle skid control equipment (VSC), and electronic brake force distribution (EBD) systems as standard equipment in some markets.
- 2002 - All new 120 Prado is released and the 100 is restyled. The centre of gravity was reduced by 30 mm, ensuring better stability and dual fuel tanks with a total capacity of 180 L in the new 120 Prado. Downhill Assist Control and Hill-start Assist Control enhance the vehicle's stability under difficult off-road conditions.
- 2007 - Toyota unveils the Lexus LX570 URJ-200 at the 2007 New York Auto Show.
NOTE: According to TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION AUSTRALIA LIMITED, some Land Cruiser 100 series vehicles have a problem with their dash board wire harness. If this is not checked, the wire harness will rub against the unprotected edge of the pedal support bracket. In the worst case, the fuse blows and the engine may stall and/or may not start.
200 Series (2008–present)
The Toyota Land Cruiser was redesigned for 2008. Known as the 200 Series, it will share the 2008 Lexus LX's platform and overall design. Though many time-honored Land Cruiser supporters have welcomed the re-invigoration of the mechanical aspects of the vehicle, the 200 Series has encountered criticism due to its controversial body restyling, with some claiming that Toyota has 'overdeveloped' the classic trademarked Land Cruiser identity in its efforts to fit the Land Cruiser in to modern 21st century motoring. Toyota presented its completely redesigned Land Cruiser in October at the 2007 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney. The vehicle entered production in September and was available for sale in November 2007. Although the new Land Cruiser was presented at its first motor show in Sydney, it was already on sale in Japan, launched there in September 2007. It also became available in Venezuela for sale early in November under the local nickname of "Roraima" (Taken from Monte Roraima in Venezuela).
The 200 Series is offered in three different levels of trim in Australia and Oceania:
The 200 Series, offered numerous features and upgrades over its predecessor not limited to the cosmetic changes made to the body and interior, including:
- Smart Entry - A sensor is triggered when the remote is brought near the vehicle, allowing the user to simply touch the door handle to open it.
- Smart Start - Start/Stop push button for ignition; a key is not required.
- 4-zone climate control on Sahara models, with outlet vents increased from 18 to 28
- 10 airbags (VX & Sahara)
- Stronger and lighter frame
Various driver assist technologies not offered on previous models including:
- CRAWL; a four-wheel drive control system that operates like an off-road cruise control, automatically maintaining a low uniform vehicle speed.
- Downhill Assist Control
- A newly developed ABS system, the multi-terrain anti-lock braking system (ABS)
- Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS)
Engine and transmission improvements include:
- An all new optional V8 Diesel engine, the 1VD-FTV (also used in the 70 Series).
- Automatic transmission standard across all levels of trim of the 200 Series, 5-speed manual transmission is offered only with the 4.0L GX models (in selected regions). A five-speed automatic gearbox is assigned to the 4.7L petrol models, while the 4.5L diesel models receive a six-speed automatic.