Toyota has finally revealed the next iteration of its 7-seat luxury off-roader. The production version of the Land Cruiser “250” prototype, which will probably retain the Prado name in SA, will make its local debut in the 2nd quarter of 2024.
The eagerly awaited Land Cruiser “250” or Prado incorporates significant mechanical upgrades and a new design direction that fuses traditional and contemporary styling cues, such as a rectangular grille and tri-beam headlights, a low-set front cowl, muscular wheel arches and a low beltline.
At the time of writing it was not clear whether the version for our market would get the front-end treatment with the slim rectangular lights or the retro round ones in combination with the two-tone paint finish (the latter is bound to please enthusiasts), but the rest will be the same as you see here: a vertically oriented tailgate, simple tail-light signature and silver lower bumpers at both ends.
Measuring 4 920 mm in length, 1 988 mm in width and 1 860 mm in height, the all-new Prado is 95 mm longer and wider, and 10mm taller than before. What’s more, its 2 850-mm wheelbase is 60 mm longer than before, and now matches the length of its bigger brother – the Land Cruiser 300.
Like the 300, the new model is underpinned by the TNGA-F ladder-frame chassis, which is 50 per cent more rigid than the current-gen Prado, helping to increase overall vehicle rigidity by 30 per cent.
The modern and stiff platform allows for improved suspension performance with greater wheel articulation for off-roading and excellent handling and ride comfort on-road, Toyota says.
Wheel articulation is improved further by a new stabilizer-bar control system, which allows the front stabiliser bar to be disconnected for better wheel articulation, while enhanced functionality for the multi-terrain select and multi-terrain monitor systems helps the Prado go even further off-road.
The adoption of electric power steering provides “a crisper steering feel and enhanced low-speed manoeuvrability on-road”, the Aichi-based firm adds, plus “maximises control when off-roading, and allows compatibility with active safety systems such as lane trace assist.”
In South Africa, the “250” or Prado is likely to be powered by a 2.8-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine that produces 150 kW and 500 Nm of torque and drives all four of the vehicle’s wheels via a new Direct Shift-8AT 8-speed automatic transmission (although the current 6-speed auto ‘box is also a possibility).
Inside, the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado or “250” retains its 7-seat layout, but employs a clean, stylish and functional interior design with dual digital screens for the instrument cluster and multimedia system. The model is expected to be offered with a full suite of Toyota Safety Sense active safety technologies.