The all-new 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser sport utility vehicle (SUV), now in its seventh generation, continues to carry its incomparable reputation for quality, durability and reliability. This Land Cruiser, known as the 200 Series, adds significantly to the quality, dependability and reliability (QDR) equation by including new components, and more comfort, sophistication and value than ever before.
The Land Cruiser, with its incredible reliability and capability, is the iconic vehicle that helped Toyota gain its first foothold in the world automobile market. Over the years, it has evolved from a basic four-wheel-drive utility vehicle into an upscale vehicle with the capability of the original Land Cruiser and the comfort and convenience of a luxury sedan. This new Land Cruiser takes those values several steps further than ever before.
“The Land Cruiser asserts its position at the very top of the Toyota SUV lineup by building on our core heritage – durability, capability, fun-to-drive, and value,” said Jim Lentz, executive vice president, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “For more than 50 years, the Land Cruiser has delivered on off-road capability and performance, and this generation will raise the ante for overall capability and comfort.”
The Land Cruiser cements its reputation as the “King of Off-Road” with systems and features that also make it the “King of On-Road.” An all-new engine and transmission delivers unparalleled power, efficiency and smoothness. The sophisticated Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) enhances the Land Cruiser’s ride and off-road capability. The Land Cruiser also receives a new electro-mechanical system, CRAWL Control, which improves its excellent off-road capabilities and allows the driver to further concentrate on choosing a line without also having to manage momentum. A sophisticated new frame and suspension further help enhance Land Cruiser safety.
“As I began this task, I understood what Land Cruiser Chief Engineers have always understood: quality, durability and reliability are the priorities,” said Land Cruiser executive chief engineer Hideki Watanabe. “The engineering team realized there could be no substitute for a Land Cruiser. This led us to believe we should further enhance the basic concepts that have made the Land Cruiser the iconic vehicle that it is. And so that’s what we’ve done.”
High-Strength Chassis and Suspension
To develop the next generation of the toughest, most desirable four-wheel-drive vehicle in the world, the Land Cruiser’s engineers began with the frame. Rather than being tempted by a unitized body, the type used by some car-based four-wheel-drive vehicles, they elected to maintain a separate frame and body for the Land Cruiser 200 Series. Land Cruiser engineers determined that strengthening a unitized body, to stand up to the stress of rough roads and high-capacity towing, would increase the body’s mass and weight as to completely negate the lightweight character usually gained by unitization.
Beginning with the current Land Cruiser frame structure and using advanced engineering methods and lightweight components, engineers developed an all-new frame structure that offers superior strength and rigidity while also enhancing towing capacity. Engineers worked on insulation and body-on-frame mounting bushings to reduce road noise, suppress vibration, and enhance on-road and off-road comfort.
The result is a high-strength, high-rigidity frame structure that uses lightweight, high-strength steel and deeper, wider frame longitudinals help to provide enhanced safety. The front of the frame adopts a three-stage crush structure so frame damage to other areas of the vehicle is minimized in the case of frontal impact.
Chassis and suspension components received as much thought and attention as the Land Cruiser’s frame. It receives a new double-wishbone independent front suspension and four-link rear suspension with a solid live axle.
Up front, the Land Cruiser employs a high-mount double-wishbone system with tubular gas-pressure shock absorbers, a hollow stabilizer bar, and coil springs. The system was designed to suppress alignment change while the suspension travels through its stroke and maintains an optimal length of stroke. The purpose of this system is to achieve a high level of off-road driving performance and suspension control while maintaining a high level of on-road driving comfort.
At the rear, the reliable and trusted four-link, coil-spring with lateral rod format was redesigned to provide a longer suspension stroke for improved on-and off-road performance. The Land Cruiser’s rear suspension also features tubular gas-pressure shock absorbers and a hollow stabilizer bar.
The brake system is enlarged and more powerful than ever, with 13.4-inch ventilated discs and four-piston calipers up front and 13.6-inch ventilated discs at the rear.
The Land Cruiser features power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering with a variable gear ratio that requires just 3.1 turns to go from lock-to-lock. Gear ratio is set larger around the steering center and smaller around the end position.
Enhancing this advanced suspension system is KDSS, a Toyota first, which provides a unique mixture of optimal on-road roll stiffness and off-road suspension compliance. This consists of a pair of hydraulic control cylinders that vary roll stiffness depending on suspension attitude.
Applying all this technology to the driving surface are P285/60 R18 mud-and-snow steel-belted radial tires mounted on 18 x 8.0-inch aluminum alloy wheels with a high-gloss finish. The Land Cruiser also features a full-size spare tire.
The Land Cruiser has a gross vehicle weight rating of 7,275 pounds, while it has a maximum payload of 1,585 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 8,500 pounds. Approach and departure angles are 30 degrees and 20 degrees, respectively.
Engine, Transmission and Drivetrain
The Land Cruiser is powered by an all-new 5.7L (346 cid) DOHC V8 engine known as the 3UR-FE. The engine uses electronic fuel injection, Toyota Direct Ignition, four valves per cylinder and a variable-length intake tract to produce 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 rpm. The Land Cruiser uses regular 87-octane gasoline and has ULEV-II emissions status.
Features of this engine include Variable Valve Timing with intelligence
(VVT-i), Acoustic Controlled Induction System (ACIS), Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence (ETCS-i) and air injection. The engine also has aluminum block and heads and employs resin-coated pistons that reduce friction loss and a taper squish combustion chamber shaped to improve anti-knock performance and fuel efficiency.
Each camshaft on the intake side is chain-driven from the crankshaft and uses VVT-i. On the exhaust side, each camshaft is chain-driven, but from the intake camshaft. The exhaust cams also use VVT-i.
ACIS uses a bulkhead to divide the intake manifold into two stages. It alters the length of the tract in the intake manifold using engine speed and throttle valve opening to provide optimal performance in all RPM ranges. The engine’s throttle body links to the Land Cruiser’s accelerator pedal through ETCS-i to ensure optimal throttle control in all operating ranges.
Each of the four valves per cylinder is actuated by a rocker arm that rides on built-in needle bearings to reduce friction and improve fuel economy. To help control oil temperature while towing, this legendary off-road vehicle uses a water-cooled oil cooler. The Land Cruiser also features stainless-steel exhaust manifolds and exhaust pipes.
This advanced powerplant is connected to Toyota’s AB60F six-speed electronically controlled transmission. In this smooth-shifting transmission, fourth gear is direct drive, and both fifth and sixth gears are overdrive gears. Fifth drive offers an overdrive ratio of 0:728:1 while sixth has a ratio of 0.588:1. Delivering power to this transmission is a compact, high-capacity torque converter that offers flexible lock-up control for improved fuel economy.
The transmission uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) Shift Control, which allows the transmission’s Electronic Control module to estimate road condition and predict the driver’s intention to select the appropriate gear ratio for the vehicle’s speed and the driving conditions.
This transmission also offers a sequential shift mode that allows the driver to select gears manually. In this mode, the transmission automatically selects first gear when the vehicle comes to a stop.
The Land Cruiser is the first Toyota vehicle to use a newly-developed JF2A transfer case to provide full-time four-wheel drive. This lightweight, compact, chain-driven unit offers a standard 1:1 high ratio for highway travel and a low-range 2.618:1 ratio for traversing challenging driving surfaces. The transfer case employs a Torsen limited-slip locking center differential. The locking function is actuated by a push-button switch. High and low ranges are selected with a rotary dial, located next to the HVAC and audio control panels. Indicator lights in the right-hand combination meter on the Land Cruiser’s dash panel indicate when low range and/or center lock is selected.
The Land Cruiser’s front SD22A differential uses a 3.909:1 gear ratio and a ring gear that is 8.7 inches in diameter. The rear BD24A differential uses precisely the same gear ratio and employs a 9.5-inch ring gear.
Drawing from a multi-layer composite 24.6-gallon fuel tank, the Land Cruiser has preliminary EPA fuel economy estimates of 13/18 mpg city/highway, based on calculations using the new EPA methodology for all 2008 and newer models.
The Land Cruiser comes replete with a wide variety of systems designed to help maintain the safety and security of the vehicle’s driver and passengers. Like all Toyota SUVS, the Land Cruiser comes standard with the STAR safety system. A new, four-wheel multi-terrain anti-lock braking system (ABS) automatically selects the optimal ABS profile to provide the most suitable brake force for on- and off-road driving surfaces. Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) employs the multi-terrain ABS to properly balance braking forces between the front and rear brakes, while Brake Assist (BA) provides auxiliary force to assist the driver during emergency braking. Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) helps maintain traction during acceleration by controlling engine output and braking forces to the wheel, distributing the drive force that might have been lost to the wheels and tires have traction. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), with a cut-off switch, helps maintain directional control during cornering by manipulating engine torque and individual wheel-braking influence when it detects tire slippage.
In addition to the STAR safety features, the Land Cruiser also features Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), which provides additional control for off-road driving by helping to keep the vehicle stationary while starting on a steep incline or slippery surface.
The new Land Cruiser features 10 airbags, the most airbags found in any Toyota vehicle. These include driver and front passenger dual-stage advanced airbags; driver and front passenger knee airbags; front- and second-row seat-mounted side airbags; and three-row roll-sensing side curtain airbags with a roll-sensing cutoff switch.
To this arsenal of safety tools, the Land Cruiser adds various new standard features: CRAWL Control, a direct tire pressure monitor system (TPMS), intuitive parking assist and front active headrests.
With the transfer case shifted into low range, CRAWL controls engine speed and output, along with braking force, to propel the vehicle forward or in reverse at one of three low-speed settings. This allows the driver to maintain focus while steering over very rough level ground or steep grades, without having to also concentrate on the throttle or brake pedals. CRAWL Control includes Downhill Assist Control (DAC), which is designed to augment the low-speed ascending ability of low-range by holding the vehicle to a target speed with no driver intervention.
The direct-sensing TPMS receives air-pressure signals from all of the vehicle’s tires, including the spare tire. When the pressure in one of the tires is below a preset threshold, the system turns on a light in the vehicle’s instrument cluster to alert the driver. Intuitive parking assist, new for Land Cruiser, relies on ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear bumpers to sense obstacles.
All eight seating positions feature three-point seatbelts. The new Land Cruiser incorporates active headrests for the driver and front passenger. Active headrests move up and forward almost instantly in the event of certain rear-end collisions when the force of the occupant body is applied to the seat back and help reduce the distance between the occupant’s head and the headrest. An available advanced seatbelt system is designed to retract the front seatbelts when the brakes are suddenly applied or when tire slippage is detected by the VSC system.
The vehicle’s center console features a gate-type shifter with sequential shift mode operation, the parking brake, a storage box with several compartments and a removable tray, universal mini-jack port and cupholders.
For convenience, the passenger-side second-row seat features a one-touch tumble mechanism for easier third-row ingress and egress. The second-row seats now slide forward and aft 4.1 inches for more passenger comfort and cargo storage versatility. The second row also employs an advanced child restraint system.
Convenience and Attention to Detail
The Land Cruiser features a number of thoughtful standard details. These include a JBL premium audio system with an in-dash six-CD/DVD changer and 14 speakers; Smart Key keyless entry; anti-theft security system; push-button start which allows the driver to unlock or start the vehicle by carrying the key on his person; engine immobilizer; cruise control; power moonroof; electrochomic rearview and side mirrors; HomeLink®; steering wheel-mounted audio, telephone,
and voice recognition controls; heated, power front seats with driver’s memory; and power tilt and telescopic steering column with memory.
In addition, the Land Cruiser offers a variety of options as part of upgrade packages: a DVD rear-seat entertainment system with a nine-inch LCD screen; Bluetooth™ technology; back-up camera; second-row heated seats; a touch-screen DVD-based navigation system with an eight-inch display that includes navigation, audio, HVAC, back-up monitor, headlamp washers, and Bluetooth™ controls. For towing convenience, the Land Cruiser has a towing converter that supplies electrical power to trailer lights and a sub wiring harness to connect to a commercial trailer brake controller.