Launched in 1984, the Land Cruiser 70 Series is one of the oldest vehicles currently still in production. Despite its venerable age, Toyota recently updated it for 2024. The most important update is the introduction of a more modern four-cylinder diesel engine as an alternative to the V8 that's still sticking around for the time being.
While the Internet is filled with drag races between pickups, we rarely see cab chassis trucks dueling on a track. Indeed, these two flavors of the Land Cruiser 70 lack a bed and represent the V8 diesel version and the new-for-2024 four-pot model. The workhorses were taken to the Sandown Raceway in Australia for an acceleration duel to determine the performance gap between the two engines.
2024 Toyota Land Cruiser J70
It’s worth noting the V8 was a single cab that weighed 5,046 pounds (2,289 kilograms). As for the four-cylinder model, it came in the double cab body style and originally tipped the scales at 4,797 lbs (2,176 kg). To even the odds, the latter received about 243 lbs (110 kg) of ballast, so the truck weighed 5,039 lbs (2,286 kg) to virtually match its opponent.
As for the engines, the downsized unit has 201 horsepower and 369 lb-ft (500 Newton-meters) of torque while the V8 packs 202 hp and 331 lb-ft (450 Nm). Both deliver their peak horsepower at 3,400 rpm but the V8's torque arrives sooner, at 1,200 rpm instead of 1,600 rpm. However, the four-cylinder has an extra 37 lb-ft (50 Nm) at its disposal. In addition, the eight-cylinder engine is hooked up to an ancient five-speed manual whereas the other engine is linked to a six-speed automatic.
The drag race shows there really is a replacement for displacement, especially when you're considering the generational gap between the engines. That 4.5-liter V8 codenamed "1VD-FTV" has been around since 2007 while Toyota launched the 2.8-liter four-cylinder dubbed "1GD-FTV" in 2015. Factor in the differences between the gearboxes, and we're not surprised by the drag race's outcome.
It’s refreshing to see such a back-to-basics truck still exists in 2023, although in only a few parts of the world. Australia is among the most important markets for the Land Cruiser 70 Series, but the utilitarian vehicle is also returning to Japan as a five-door SUV. In the Middle East, you can even get the short-wheelbase, three-door SUV variant.