For the first time, the Toyota GR (Gazoo Racing) performance badge finds its way to the flagship Land Cruiser SUV. However, it's not a full-on GR model, like the Supra, Yaris, and 86. Instead, it's a GR Sport model, and it will focus more on off-road performance instead of more power.
The Land Cruiser GR Sport debuted alongside the new 300 Series model yesterday. Unfortunately, details about the off-road-oriented SUV are still scarce. But, the changes over the standard Land Cruiser are night and day.
The most distinct feature of the Land Cruiser GR Sport is the grille. Unlike the grille fitted on the standard Land Cruiser with horizontal slats, the GR Sport features a blacked-out mesh design. Rather than the Toyota logo, the words “TOYOTA” are spread out and flanked by a thick silver trim piece and a GR badge to match. The grille is a throwback to older Land Cruiser models such as the FJ40, the LC80, and even the reborn LC70 series.
Other notable changes to the Land Cruiser GR Sport are the exterior bits finished in black. The front bumper, fender molding, side mirrors, step board, and door handles get the black treatment. While it does make the SUV look like the base model, the black accents give the SUV a sportier and rugged appeal. Rounding up the exterior changes on the Land Cruiser GR Sport are the unique wheels.
No interior photos of the GR Sport are available at the time of writing, but it will likely get GR badges and embroidery around. At most, it could come with sports seats to secure occupants better when going off-road. Toyota could also add GR Sport exclusive cluster and graphics for the infotainment system.
Toyota did not disclose the performance and suspension changes the GR Sport has over the standard Land Cruiser. It will likely have off-road-tuned shocks and springs, amongst others. But for reference, the standard LC300 is fitted with the new Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System that improves off-road performance by effectively disabling the front and rear stabilizer bars. Then there's the Multi-Terrain Monitor and Multi-Terrain Select system, both of which further enhances the SUV's off-roading capabilities.
As for engines, there are currently two options available. Gone are the V8s, and in their place are a twin-turbo 3.5-liter gasoline V6 and a twin-turbo 3.3-liter diesel V6. The former is rated at 415 PS and 650 Nm torque, while the diesel mill outputs 309 PS and 700 Nm torque. Both shift via a new 10-speed automatic gearbox.
Will we see the Land Cruiser GR Sport in the Philippines? We hope so. It would be a great addition to the Toyota Gazoo Racing Philippines lineup. We wouldn't be surprised if a few customers are already inquiring about the model at local dealerships.