The rugged Toyota 70 Series Land Cruiser first hit showrooms in Japan back in 1984. Since then, more than 2.5 million of the tough, go anywhere trucks have been sold around the world.
Production in Japan ended in 2004, but constant demand from loyal fans has convinced Toyota to put the 70 Series back into production for one year. It will offer the revised “70” as a fully enclosed truck or in double cab format – a first for the Japanese market. Part time 4 wheel drive is standard. A locking front and rear differential is optional as is an electric bumper mounted winch. With prices starting at $33,000, Toyota expects to sell about 200 of the trucks a month.
The original heavy duty ladder frame and suspension are maintained, as is a beefy 5 speed transmission. A 4.0 liter V-6 making 228 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque resides under the hood. The grille is updated to modern standards with turn signals integrated into the headlamps, dual airbags are fitted and 4 wheel antilock disc brakes installed. Other than that, the 2014 70 Series should look, ride and feel almost exactly as it did 30 years ago.
The “70” is still manufactured in selected markets around the world. It is still highly prized in the Australian outback for its toughness and durability.
People always long for good old fashioned automobiles built the way they were way back when. Will Toyota be able to stop producing the updated 70 Series Land Cruiser after a year or will Japanese fans they keep the assembly line busy longer than that? For a vehicle as straight forward, rugged and reliable as the “70”, it wouldn’t be a surprise if production went on even after the planned cut off date.