After a rocky launch, the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series is finally reaching Australian customers.
Toyota announced today it made the first customer delivery of its redesigned flagship SUV, which it says marks the start of local retail sales.
Only a limited number of 300 Series models – 500 in total – reached dealerships as demonstrator models in early October, with test drives permitted where COVID-19 restrictions allowed.
Right-hand drive production of the LandCruiser resumed in Japan in November, and the company says it’s returning to “normal levels” this month.
Toyota’s global production has been hit by both the semiconductor crunch (despite stockpiling) and COVID-19 shutdowns, leading to stock shortages and wait lists on most core models.
Production in November was forecast to hit between 850,000 and 900,000 cars, up on the 830,000 vehicle record set in November 2020. Toyota also expects normal December production numbers, or 800,000 cars, from its global factories.
The launch of the LandCruiser 300 Series was significantly affected, with production halted for a few months.
“We would like to thank our customers for their understanding. It has been a challenging few months, with COVID-19 causing production stoppages in Japan and elsewhere across the region,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations.
“Our Dealers have the latest information on customers’ individual orders and expected delivery timing, and we thank our customers again for their patience,” he said.
In October, Toyota Australia apologised to customers for the long waits for its vehicles, with production delays leading to a 35 per cent drop in sales in November compared to November 2020.
The LandCruiser 300 Series isn’t the only sought-after Toyota facing huge customer wait lists.
Toyota confirmed in October the LandCruiser 70 Series and RAV4 Hybrid have average wait times across its dealer network of 9-10 months.
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“As the availability of supply is an evolving situation around the world, we are continuing to work closely with our global production team to secure the maximum possible number of vehicles for our customers,” said Mr Hanley.
“We apologise to customers experiencing delays and we sincerely thank them for their patience. We ask our customers to please contact their local dealer for updates on the status of their individual orders.”
The parts shortages come at an inauspicious time for Toyota, with the highly-anticipated 300 Series being the first all-new flagship LandCruiser in 14 years.
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The redesigned Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series offers two new flagship models atop a pricier but more comprehensively-equipped range.
The carryover GX, GXL, VX and Sahara trim levels slot below the new off-road-focused GR Sport and the more luxurious Sahara ZX.
Pricing is up by roughly $10,000 across the board, with the 300 Series range opening at $89,990 before on-road costs for the GX and extending to $138,790 before on-roads for the Sahara ZX.
All use a new 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel engine making 227kW of power and 700Nm of torque.
Those outputs are up by 27kW and 50Nm from the old SUV’s 4.5-litre twin-turbo diesel V8.
The GR Sport, unlike other GR Sport models in the Toyota line-up, has a distinct off-road focus.
It was developed as a base vehicle for the Dakar Rally and features its own unique look, with the Toyota wordmark emblazoned across the gloss-black mesh grille, plus black 18-inch alloy wheels within black wheel arches.
Also finished in black are the side steps, door handles, mirror caps and window trim, while the front bumper and lower rear bumper are unpainted.
Inside, there’s a choice of two colourways: one black with carbon-look trim, and one finished in red-and-black with black instrument panel trim.
Underneath, there are front and rear differential locks and Toyota’s electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which can independently lock and unlock the front and rear stabiliser bars.
Like the flagship Sahara ZX, it also includes adaptive suspension and adaptive high-beam.
The Sahara ZX differs with a torque-sensing rear limited-slip differential. It also boasts a more luxurious look with a unique chrome grille and 20-inch alloy wheels, plus other luxurious touches like illuminated side steps.
Instead of woodgrain, there’s carbon-look trim. You can choose between black, beige and red-and-black colourways, while standard kit includes heated and ventilated seats and a hands-free power tailgate.
Both the GR Sport and Sahara ZX will be five-seat only, unlike the seven-seat GXL, VX and Sahara.
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