Two things: efficiency and less CO2 emissions.
Among the reasons why the Toyota Land Cruiser has been a very attractive SUV with off-roaders and normal car-buyers alike is the availability of the formidable V8 option. In fact, the 381-horsepower (284-kilowatt) 5.7-Liter 3UR-FE V8 gasoline mill remains as the sole choice in the United States, which is known for its solid power output that's a force to be reckoned with in off-roading and towing duties.
However, it seems like the Toyota V8 power plant options, may it be diesel or gasoline, are headed towards the end of the road for the upcoming completely new 300 Series Land Cruiser.
Gallery: 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition
Although not directly confirmed, the news came from an interview of CarAdvice with the head of product planning and development for Toyota Australia, Bernard Nadal. When asked about the rumors of dropping the V8s, Nada answered: "You would see most brands are shifting down from V8s whether it be petrol or diesel configurations. It's generally in the pursuit of greater efficiencies and to reduce CO2 emissions, so that's the global trend."
So, two things: efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions. The former may mean that a smaller yet more powerful turbocharged V6 engine is underway – something that the Australian car magazine's "well-placed sources" seem to agree with. According to their reports, the upcoming Land Cruiser 300 Series will come with V6 turbo-diesel or turbo-gasoline engine choices in its launch by 2021. A V6 hybrid power plant will also arrive after a few years.
On the other hand, the reduction of CO2 emissions has been a global movement this decade, in an effort to reduce mankind's carbon footprint. It's understandable for brands to follow suit as nobody wants to stick with a company that doesn't comply with Earth-saving measures.
Whether the demise of the V8 is true or not, we sure do hope that Toyota keeps in mind the things that make the Land Cruiser great – off-roading prowess and immense towing capacity. With that, we think it would be easy for the world to accept the downsizing to V6.