The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser was unveiled this week, marking a return to its past as a rugged car with rough terrain in mind.
This announcement created a stir among those with automotive interests, but it was of particular interest in the UAE. Statistics suggest the world’s biggest car manufacturer sells more Land Cruisers in the Emirates than the rest of the world combined.
However, while the latest version, the 250 Series, will be available across the Middle East and much of the rest of the world, there is another new model that will remain in Japan only – the 70 Series.
Both were announced at the same time, but the latter vehicle attracted considerably less attention because of its limited availability.
While smaller than its siblings, the 70 is being touted as probably the most hardcore Land Cruiser yet.
The new design, which is the first upgrade to the 70 lineage in 15 years, takes inspiration from the car’s classic, straight-edged predecessors from decades ago, when all versions of the vehicle were working tools rather than tarmac trudgers.
The 70 comes with a 2.8-litre diesel turbo engine, geared towards offering the kind of off-road performance only available from high-torque, high-output power plants.
It’s not all bargain-basement basic, though.
There is a 6.7-inch infotainment screen with the usual Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in there. The new gauge cluster sticks to old-school dials, admittedly, but integrates a 4.2-inch digital display for power-train information.
The 70 will be in showrooms on its home turf later this year and will join the already available 300 model. The 250 arrives early next year.
Toyota is remaining coy about whether the 70 will make it into other markets. If you look at the sales figures you’d guess the Middle East would be an obvious first-choice destination if the manufacturer decides the car should go farther afield.
In the meantime, it’s a case of playing the waiting game.