Toyota revealed Monday that at the Tokyo auto show this week it will debut a fully electric Land Cruiser Se concept that could be a template for remaking the rugged off-road legend for the electric era.
The concept has three rows to seat up to seven, and it’s truly American-sized, at nearly 203 inches long, about 78 inches wide, and 67 inches high. That’s about seven inches longer but about nine inches lower overall than the current/upcoming truck. It also rides on a 120-inch wheelbase—about eight inches longer than that of the current model.
Based on a first images, the concept appears to have a rather long hood, with blacked-out side pillars and a “floating roof” concept in back that has been used for many SUV designs over the past decade. It certainly does not follow closely on Land Cruiser heritage styling cues.
If the appearance isn’t enough, Toyota hints that while off-road chops are part of the package, the purpose of this EV might be a bit different compared to that of the traditional internal-combustion Land Cruiser. It appears to skip the traditional body-on-frame design, with a monocoque body that Toyota says offers “highly responsive handling and confidence in tackling rough terrain.”
The electric powertrain helps add to comfort inside when driving in urban or off-road situations, Toyota claims—a statement that appears to might hint at a powertrain akin to Nissan’s e-4orce all-wheel-drive system, which helps not just maximize traction and stability but reduce body motion.
The U.S.-market, gasoline-powered 2024 Land Cruiser returns as a hybrid, with a full redesign, so it’s likely that a production EV based on the concept would either open up Land Cruiser as a sub-brand for Toyota, or that this concept hints at a model that’s years away.
There are relatively few places in the world where SUVs this large sell in significant volume, so if produced the U.S. would almost certainly be a target market. Some have speculated that the U.S.-made EV would be based on the bZ5X concept from 2021, but this updated design might fare much better versus the Kia EV9, among others.
Expect a little more clarity to arrive from the show floor at Tokyo. There, the electric Land Cruiser concept will stand beside electric sports car and crossover EV concepts, as well as an electric pickup concept, as part of a full suite of EV ideas suggesting Toyota is getting ready to embrace electric vehicles on a larger stage.
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