New Toyota LandCruiser Prado borrows Gray Nicolls Scoop style
POISED to go on sale here in November, the 2018 model Toyota LandCruiser Prado will only be available with a diesel engine while improved safety features will be added to the most popular models.
The new Prado comes with what the Japanese carmaker calls a "modern and robust exterior styling and a higher quality interior design".
Unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show, changes to the exterior include a sculpted bonnet that rivals a Gray Nicolls Scoop cricket bat from the 1970s and '80s, and re-profiled fenders.
Most importantly, it gains an improved towing capacity - up to 3000kg from 2500kg.
The revised grille has broad vertical bars with slit-shaped cooling openings finished in chrome. There are also changes to the headlamps with main beams positioned inboard to avoid damage from obstacles during off-road driving.
"Lower corners on the new front and rear bumpers kick upwards to enhance off-road manoeuvrability. The redesigned rear includes new lamp clusters and a smaller rear garnish plate incorporated within the number-plate surround," the Toyota statement says.
"Inside the more upscale interior, the dashboard, instrument binnacle and switchgear are newly designed. The revised centre console, which incorporates a flush-surface air-conditioning control panel, has a lower profile at the top for a sleeker appearance and improved forward visibility."
The petrol model will be culled following poor sales.
Safety is a big winner, with many of the autonomous features previously fitted to the premium Kakadu now added to the automatic variants of the volume-selling GX and GXL grades.
Designed to help prevent accidents or mitigate their consequences, the technologies include a Pre-Collision Safety system that can detect frontal collisions with pedestrians as well as vehicles. Using cameras, the brakes can be applied automatically to reduce the vehicle's speed or stop it completely.
Every Prado will be equipped with a Lane Departure Alert system that monitors lane markings and helps prevent accidents and head-on collisions caused by a vehicle leaving its lane. If the vehicle starts to deviate from its lane without the indicators being used, the system alerts the driver with visual and audible warnings.
The range is also fitted with automatic high beam, which dims the lights to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic or vehicles in front.
VX grade, in addition, now features Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
The same 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine will be employed, mated to the six-speed automatic transmission. It generates 450Nm of torque between 1600-2400rpm.
When mated to the six-speed manual transmission available in the GX or GXL, this engine develops peak torque of 420Nm from 14000-2600 rpm. Maximum power is 130kW at 3400rpm.
The 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine will no longer be offered in Australia due to overwhelming consumer preference for the turbo-diesel engine (98.8% of sales).