Toyota Teases the Future of the Land Cruiser With a Glance at the Past

The new Lexus GX and the 65 year-old FJ40 could hint at what’s coming our way

two cars facing each other on a mountain
Toyota Land Cruisers are making a comeback.

The Toyota Land Cruiser has been a reliable go-to utility vehicle for decades, much of which is due to its simple body-on-frame setup and subsequent durability. Though it was a reliable formula, the aging platform didn’t do the SUV any favors in the U.S., however, and it was discontinued here in 2021. 

In a sense, the Land Cruiser needed a breather, but it’ll soon be ready to cruise again. 

Toyota teased the return of the Land Cruiser with a silhouetted image of an original FJ40 Land Cruiser next to the new one yet to come. 

Along with the photo, Toyota dropped a small statement that says: “With 65 years of heritage, you can choose to slow down or reinvent yourself. We chose the latter.” 

Granted, there’s not much to go on, but there’s been enough info in the wild that paints a good picture of what to expect. The first and most clear image comes from Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus, which just unveiled the 2024 GX last month. This rugged, blocky new look for the GX all but matches the shape of the hidden car in the teaser image. 

This falls in line with the info swirling around that the next U.S.-bound Land Cruiser would be based on the Land Cruiser Prado, a smaller SUV in Toyota’s Land Cruiser family that’s sold in other countries. It’s also the basis for — get ready — the Lexus GX and has been since the SUV’s debut in the early 2000s. 

So with this teaser image thoroughly Sherlocked, what can we expect from the new Land Cruiser in 2024? While the GX should describe the overall form of its Toyota twin, it’s likely that Toyota will lean more into the aforementioned 65 years of heritage for inspiration for style cues. 

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In terms of powertrain, a V8 is unlikely, given that the GX is offered with a 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 that outclasses the last-gen GX’s V8, whipping up 349 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. There is a hybrid version planned though details have yet to be announced. With this in mind, it’s unlikely that the Land Cruiser would differ too drastically from this. 

So if the next Land Cruiser is basically the Lexus GX, wouldn’t that eat the luxury SUV’s lunch? Cynically speaking, on some level, it’s all the same to Toyota, but more to the point, the Land Cruiser could fill the spot between the rough-and-tumble Toyota 4Runner and the luxury-focused GX. Being a little more upscale than the former and potentially more off-road-ready than the latter, the latest Land Cruiser could hit a very satisfying sweet spot for those in the market for a versatile utility vehicle, particularly if the price is right. If we’re lucky, we might even get a TRD version of the Land Cruiser, which would give it a huge off-road upgrade and something the Lexus would never get. 

For now, we’ll froth over the possibilities and continue to fantasize about what’s to come, just the effect the teaser was meant to trigger.

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