New Land Cruiser Se previews future design revamp

Toyota has only just a launched a new Land Cruiser, but all-electric concept suggests there's much more to come

By PH Staff / Saturday, 21 October 2023 / Loading comments

When Toyota launched the all-new Land Cruiser for 2024 over the summer, we lauded it for its retro-inspired look and for resolutely sticking to a diesel-powered, body-on-frame solution (if it ain’t broke etc). It seemed like a brave choice at the time – but now, with the reveal of the new Land Cruiser Se concept ahead of next week’s Tokyo show, it seems that the manufacturer has allowed itself ample room for a traditional approach by putting all its futuristic eggs in an electric show car basket instead. 

You’ll make your own mind up about the styling effort, but we’re inclined to advocate the design direction Toyota is apparently heading toward with its most famous full-size SUV. Sure, there’s a cliff face of a front end for your eyes to negotiate, but that’s hardly inconsistent with the established Land Cruiser aesthetic, and we rather like the odd design cue that specifically hark back to the model’s greatest hits – not least the dramatic kink in the window line. 

But clearly, the Se is also about ushering in a new era of Land Cruiser, one consistent with an all-new, zero-emission drivetrain and (also for the first time) a monocoque body that Toyota says will offer ‘highly responsive handling and confidence in tackling rough terrain.’ Aside from confirming that the concept is indeed a BEV, the manufacturer doesn’t go into any further detail on what its configuration of electric motors and batteries might look like, although mention of the car’s comparative ‘quietness’ in urban areas suggests that Toyota is serious about broadening ‘the Land Cruiser brand’s appeal with a three-row SUV that caters to the world’s diverse needs.’

That’s likely to mean a prominent shift upmarket for the seven-seater as any incoming production derivative seeks to compete head-on with an incoming generation of all-electric SUVs, an approach that probably accounts for a prominent whiff of Range Rover influence in the dapper styling. Certainly, the Se is unlikely to want for presence or interior space: Toyota indicates that it is more than five metres long and nearly two metres wide with a 3,050mm wheelbase. Expect to hear more about the grittier details when the car is officially unveiled alongside a host of other concepts – including the hotly anticipated FT-SE sports car – that are intended to look ahead to Toyota’s next-generation lineup. 

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