It's a common refrain among auto enthusiasts to bemoan the current models being sold for being overly complex and expensive and to wish that automakers would just make vehicles like the old days. Sure, they might not have been as safe or efficient, but there was often a certain rugged simplicity that's gone today. Well, Toyota
is actually doing it and thinks there's enough demand to put the Land Cruiser 70
back into production in Japan for its 30th anniversary. Sadly, it's only for one year.
The original Land Cruiser 70 served a long life in Japan from 1984 to 2004. Even today, the proven model remains in production in some regions abroad. People in its home country still love the vehicle though, and Toyota is brushing off the mothballs to give customers what they want. For the first time ever there, it's also offering the double-cab pickup version in addition to the traditional enclosed body. The company thinks that it can move about 200 of these classic trucks this year, which isn't too shabby for a vehicle that's three decades old.
Looking at the pictures above, these look like the same old Land Cruisers, but Toyota is updating them slightly to meet modern safety rules. The grille, hood and headlights are all tweaked, and they now come with airbags and anti-lock brakes. A 4.0-litre V6 is under the hood making 228 horsepower (170 kilowatts) and 266 lb-ft of torque (360 Newton-metres), and the only available gearbox is a five-speed manual. Part-time four-wheel drive is standard. If you're really afraid of getting stuck in the wilderness, locking front and rear differentials and a winch are available as options.
Prices for these throwbacks start at 3.6 million yen ($34,600) for the SUV or 3.5 million yen (33,700) for the truck. Scroll down
to watch some videos of these awesome "new" models showing what they can do off-road, and to read Toyota's official announcement.