Toyota considering various electric options for future Land Cruiser SUV
Japanese automobile giant Toyota Motor Corporation is reportedly mulling a plan to develop and introduce a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or a fully electric (BEV) version of the retro-styled legendary Land Cruiser off-road SUV sometime in the future. Toyota has been slow to embrace electric vehicles and the company is already lagging behind in all the markets it operates in. Toyota is an automobile manufacturer with strong market share and automobile experts are surprised with Toyota’s reluctance to introduce EV variants of its popular models.
Recently, the Japanese automaker revealed U.S.-bound Toyota Land Cruiser SUV 250-Series, and it seems to have successfully retained the appeal of its predecessors. However, it will be interesting to see how the Toyota Land Cruiser will perform in terms of sales in an era of increasingly strict emission norms and battery-powered vehicles.
For the time being, the automaker has no immediate plans to introduce a PHEV or an all-electric version of the retro-styled the Land Cruiser SUV. Its powerful turbocharged internal combustion engine (2.4-liter) will reportedly be paired with a 48-horsepower (hp) electric motor (e-motor), which will be housed within the 8-speed transmission system. But, its impact on fuel economy remains unknown. For that we will have to wait till the commencement of its deliveries to customers. The company is expected to release detailed figures before releasing the vehicle.
It is crystal clear that Toyota is lagging far behind its rivals in the field of EVs, simply because it continued to focus on internal combustion engines. Its management and former chief executive Akio Toyoda kept arguing that EVs are not feasible to produce from the financial point of view. However, under the leadership of its new chief executive Koji Sato, the company has now started shifting from internal combustion engines to electric powertrains to prepare for the future.
Toyota is reportedly considering fuel-cell, PHEV or a fully-electric version of the iconic Land Cruiser off-road SUV. According to automotive experts, incorporating any of the aforementioned alternative propulsion systems into the company’s TNGA-F platform will have some pros and some cons. Acknowledging this fact, Toyota Chief Engineer Keita Moritsu revealed that he and his team members have already started brainstorming future electrified variants of the SUV.
The fuel-cell version would be ideal for long-range driving as well as towing. It is worth-mentioning here that Toyota was among the first companies to introduce this technology. In fact, it has more than 5000 patents for this technology. However, inadequate infrastructure will likely hinder its wider adoption. Thus, Toyota is expected to opt for a PHEV or fully-electric variant of the iconic SUV. Recently, the automaker revealed its new efforts and plans to match rivals in the EV space. For instance, it has revealed that it would launch around a dozen new EVs by the end of 2026.