Posts Tagged ‘Land Cruiser’

Japanese Car Collectors Predict Upcoming Trends

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Global trends do not only exist in the world of gaming, fashion, and animation. Japanese car collectors seem to have the inside scoop when it comes to the global car collector market. In the collector’s inventory lies the innovated limited production vehicles from the 1960s such as the Toyota 2000GT and Mazda Cosmo that are now priced at six and seven figure numbers. Even the humble vehicles like the Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 of the 1960s have become $100,000 cars.

Toyota 2000GT with Toyota 86

“We’ve seen a huge spike in certain great, collectible Japanese cars,” says David Gooding, the CEO of the Los Angeles-based Gooding & Co. auction house. The information does back his statement. Study results from classic vehicle valuation experts Hagerty shows a 57% hike in the prices paid for Japanese collectibles during the last three years alone.

With increases like this, many Japanese collectors have been priced out of their own iconic history. Since Japanese trends have been foretelling of global styles like the infamous Fast & Furious “tuner” craze from the early 2000s, where cars were customized with wildly colorful cosmetic and mechanical accessories—the Japanese collectible market has become a good source for analyzing emerging trends.

The top collectible cars in Japan may line up with those that are popular globally, but there’s a significant difference. Japanese car collectors seem to be drawn to cars from the 1990s era and later while Ferraris from the 60s and 70s are a hot ticket item in America and Europe. European and American collectors currently fetishize purist 60s to 80s Porsche 911s that look like they just rolled off the assembly line; the Japanese clearly like their 911s customized. (Although the auctions in Japan can be a great place to find clean, low KM Porsches as well).

“The Japanese have never been shy about modifying cars,” says Ben Hsu, founder, and editor-in-chief of Japanese Nostalgic Car, the most notable English-language publication about vintage Japanese cars. “Interest in Porsches in Japan has just skyrocketed in recent years, largely due to a tuner named Nakai, who grafts on flared fenders and giant rear spoilers—inspired by modifications done by the Japanese Bosozoku, which were the old local bike and car gangs. He runs a shop called Rauh Welt, which is German for rough world.”

This love for modification is, among many Japanese collectors, ingrained in a particular aspect of their culture “There is this Japanese word, otaku, which means hardcore—obsessively enthusiastic about something,” says Hsu. According to Hsu’s, otaku is also the motivation behind local collectors’ love of oddball and underappreciated cars.

What do you predict will be the next classic? The Nissan Figaro? Honda Beat? Whatever classic Japanese cars you are after, we can help.


2017 Toyota Land Cruiser Facelift Leaked

Posted by Stephen On Friday, May 29th, 2015

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser

This just in: Toyota’s flagship SUV, the 200 Series Land Cruiser, looks like it’s getting a major overhaul next year. The news comes from a set of the leaked images that originated from a Japanese automotive magazine. Along with the images came the photo you see at the top of this post, which depicts the allegedly next-generation Land Cruiser.

That being said, this main image appears to be a semi-digitized rendering. Those with a keen eye for Photoshop will notice that the depth of field right on the corner where the right-side headlamp wraps above the wheel is a little too two-dimensional. In fact, most of the grille and bumper looks tampered with, and those alloys definitely look copy+pasted into place. So we’re skeptical that this is an actual product photo leak for the next-gen Land Cruiser.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser Spy Shot 3

But, even if the image at the top of this post is more rendering than spy shot, the other photos seen here, which were posted by a Twitter user with handle @Hamad1two, appear to be real. In the other photos, we see what looks like a dealership training manual highlighting the differences between the current Land Cruiser and the upcoming model.

Thus, from these images, we can see that even if the primary photo shown at the top of this post is a rendering, it at least portrays the gist of the upgrade.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser Spy Shot 4

The biggest update to the Land Cruiser’s design seems to be the front-end, which appears to get a completely overhauled design. It looks like the SUV will get a set of new dual-projector lights and restyled LED DRL’s, plus a new grille design and similarly restyled taillights and bumper in the back. It also looks like the crossover will be getting some new treads too, although they may not be quite like what we see in the image above.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser Spy Shot 2

Inside, these spy shots depict a revised interior trim, with new chrome accents and an updated instrument cluster. It also looks like they’ve added in some new entertainment options via rear-seat TV screens.

Finally, if you could read Japanese, you’d see that these leaks claim that the new Land Cruiser will run on a 2.7 L turbo diesel with 174 horsepower paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. That would mean that SUV would probably get the same engine recently revealed for the new Toyota HiLux.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser Spy Shot 1

Either way, we will likely see the facelifted Land Cruiser before the end of 2015, so stay tuned for the next round of auto shows this fall for more details.


Japanese Car Auction Find – 50th Anniversary Land Cruiser Cygnus

Posted by Stephen On Monday, September 8th, 2014

Yesterday we looked at Toyota’s re-released 70 Series Land Cruiser. It’s essentially a carbon copy of the first-ever commercial Land Cruiser 70 series that went on sale in Japan all the way back in 1984. However, as you learned yesterday, the Land Cruiser’s true beginnings extend far before that. So far, in fact, that Toyota had already celebrated the vehicle’s 50th anniversary… in the year 2000. And that’s the car that we found for today’s Japanese car auction find.

This is a 2002 50th Anniversary Land Cruiser Cygnus, which would’ve been sold as the Lexus LX 470 in non-Japanese markets. That’s why that this model looks much more upscale than the other Land Cruisers of its time, both inside and out:

2002 50th Anniversary Land Cruiser 2002 50th Anniversary Land Cruiser rear

Even though this 50th Anniversary Land Cruiser Cygnus would’ve come out over a decade ago as a 2002 car, it actually looks markedly more modern than the 30th Anniversary 70 Series Cruiser that Toyota introduced us to yesterday. That’s because the Cygnus was built on the 100 Series Land Cruiser, which is a whole two product cycles newer than the 70 Series that the 30th Anniversary model is based on. Of course, being a Land Cruiser Cygnus, Toyota classifies this model as comfort oriented, so it’s not intended for the same off-road rigors of the off-road oriented 70 Series.

But don’t let the categorization fool you – this pearly white Cruiser is not a meek or mild vehicle. The auction sheet tells us that this four-wheel drive SUV was built on the UZJ100 chassis. This means the model runs on a 4.7L petrol V8 engine capable of 228hp and 302 lb-ft. Note, that’s actually more torque than you’ll find on the new 70 Series anniversary model. Also note that this Land Cruiser uses an automatic transmission.

2002 50th Anniversary Land Cruiser interior

Looking above, you’ll find that this 2002 Land Cruiser has a surprisingly well-appointed and spacious eight-seat interior. It features premium off-white leather upholstery, complete with the classic wood paneling that only a longtime Lexus lover can appreciate. You’ll also enjoy a sunroof, an infotainment system with built-in navigation and all the standard tech. functions of today’s luxury vehicles, including power steering, power windows and antilock brakes.

A quick look over the auction sheet below shows us that this Japanese car auction find has an exterior rating of 4 due to a couple minor dents and scratches. The B-grade interior is in similarly good-but-not-perfect condition. For a more detailed translation, continue reading below:

2002 50th Anniversary Land Cruiser auction sheet

Here’s the translation:

“Interior B, first registered January 2002, 4WD, 8-seater, AT, dual AAC, power steering, power windows, ABS, original AWs, airbag, original navigation system, original TV< leather, interior grime and wear, navigation system ROM missing, CORROSION and rust underneath, scratches and dents, marks as per map" (Looking at the translation, it's seems likely that this particular Landcruiser has had some offroad experience given the reference to rust and corrosion underneath the vehicle. Remember that "rust" is surface orange discoloration, whereas "corrosion" means that the metal has oxidized and is flaking away. Read more about rust and corrosion on the Japanese auction inspection reports here.)


Toyota Brings Back Original Land Cruiser Series 70

Posted by Stephen On Monday, September 8th, 2014

2015 Series 70 Land Cruiser

Did you know that the Toyota Land Cruiser is the single oldest car in the automaker’s lineup?

That’s right – as of 2014, Toyota has been commercially manufacturing their off-road SUV for 30 years, with the first Series 70 Land Cruiser hitting their domestic market in 1984 and spreading globally soon after. In fact, the prototype that eventually became the Land Cruiser actually started out as a military vehicle. Toyota was ordered to develop the original vehicle before the Korean War so that the Japanese military could have their own version of the American Jeep.

2015 Series 70 Land Cruiser Pickup

Of course, this isn’t a history class, so we’ll keep the boring background stuff to a minimum, but it’s important to illustrate that this often overlooked SUV actually has deep roots in Japanese culture. Even though today’s Land Cruiser is arguably more luxury than utility (and only available in a few select markets), Toyota hasn’t forgotten the vehicle’s simplistic military background. And Toyota’s Japanese drivers haven’t either, even though the Land Cruiser hasn’t been sold there for 10 years.

For one year only, Toyota is bringing back of the original Series 70 Land Cruiser in Japan. This week marks the beginning of that year, which is intended to be a sort of “Thank You” to their Japanese fan base.

Okay, we’re done with the history lesson! Let’s talk specs:

Toyota will bring back the ’84 Land Cruiser in two different body styles – a double-cab pickup and the more conventional van. Both versions will be built on the Land Cruiser’s traditional closed ladder frame with extremely rigid cross braces – a simple-but-strong chassis that can handle even the most grueling off-road terrain. The van will offer more comfort with the extra interior space, while the pickup makes up for it with a sturdy deck that can take on up to 600kgs without any trouble.

2015 Toyota Land Cruiser 70 powertrain

Beneath the hood, the re-released Series 70 Land Cruiser will run on a powerful 4.0L V6 engine with part-time four-wheel drive and a rugged manual transmission. The engine uses VVT-i technology and an Acoustic Control Induction System to help optimize the car’s admittedly feeble fuel efficiency, which sits at 6.6 km/L (about 15mpg). However, it doesn’t need to be said that this is one very powerful engine, capable of 228hp and 265 lb-ft of torque.

2015 Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Interior

As you look through the pictures, you’ll notice that Toyota has made a few quality of life changes to ever so slightly modernize the Series 70. Additions like a new grille and headlight configuration make the original Land Cruiser subtly better-looking. Meanwhile, SRS airbags and ABS makes the off-road vehicle safer than ever, while an updated-but-still-functional instrument panel makes it easy to keep your eyes on the road while monitoring the dash.

2015 Toyota Land Cruiser 70 optional winch

All in all, we’d be lying if we said that we weren’t a little bit jealous of the Japanese market. This Land Cruiser 70 re-release looks very well done, and the 200 or so drivers per month who’ll get one should certainly count themselves lucky. Fortunately, all hope is not lost for our American readers – if you really want a traditional Series 70 Land Cruiser, you can still find used models if you’re willing to look. In fact, if you come back tomorrow, we’ll show you a great place to find one!

Otherwise, you can watch this video to see the new-old Series 70 Land Cruiser in action: