Toyota Land Cruiser 70-Series drops V8 diesel, gets new five-speed manual

2024 toyota land cruiser 70 series 13

The 70-Series Toyota Land Cruiser will celebrate its 40th birthday in 1985, and it remains stunningly popular in many global markets. It sells well enough that Toyota continues to invest in the model. It’s gaining a new five-speed manual transmission, but it’s losing its V8 engine.

Launched in 2007, the 4.5-liter turbodiesel V8 will remain in production until Toyota fills every outstanding order. The brand has quite the backlog to work through: It stopped taking orders for the engine nearly two years ago. The final examples of the V8-powered Wagon, Troop Carrier, WorkMate, and GX models will be built in September 2024, while the 79-Series will lose its eight-cylinder engine in late 2025.

Toyota explained the decision to ditch the turbodiesel V8 was “inevitable due to changing regulations.” Sean Hanley, the vice president of sales, marketing, and franchise operations for Toyota’s Australian division, said that “the only alternative was to walk away from this model — and that was not an option.” Toyota has sold 346,742 units of the 70-Series in Australia since 1985, including 171,010 with the V8 engine.

Looking ahead, the 70-Series will exclusively be offered with a 2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder announced in 2023. Borrowed from the Hilux pickup, it develops 201 horsepower from 3,200 to 3,400 rpm and 331 pound-feet of torque between 1,600 and 3,000 rpm. For context, the outgoing V8 developed 202 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and and 316 pound-feet of torque at 1,200 rpm. Starting in October 2024, the turbo-four will be linked to a beefier evolution of the V8’s five-speed manual transmission with specific ratios. Toyota made the first, second, and third gears shorter for better off-the-line performance, and it fitted a longer fifth gear for better fuel economy and less noise on the highway.

Pricing information and performance specifications will be announced later in 2024. While the 70-Series is one of the oldest SUVs on the market by a mile-wide margin, its ruggedness and its off-road capability are timeless. It’s notably highly sought-after on the Australian market, and the Red Cross relies on the 70-Series in countries with rough roads. Nothing suggests we’ll see the model here, however.

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