Behind the familiar (but scaled-up) design, the Toyota Land Cruiser V8 is an almost entirely new car; the rear suspension is the only substantial carryover from the Amazon.
The Toyota still features an old-fashioned separate chassis rather than the monocoque construction that modern SUVs have increasingly turned to. The company proclaims this to be an affirmation of the Land Cruiser’s genuine off-road credentials, and it also makes it far easier to repair in those parts of the world without access to laser-aligned bodyshop rigs.
The downside of body-on-frame construction tends to be poor structural rigidity, which is why Toyota has used hydroformed chassis members and high-strength steel in the frame.
The V8’s torsional rigidity is claimed to be 1.4 times better than that of the Amazon. The extra strength has brought bulk, too, with the V8 tipping MIRA’s scales at a very substantial 2880kg – considerably more than Toyota’s claimed 2555kg kerb weight.
Owning a big SUV that’s capable off road is one thing, but buyers like their vehicles to look as though they can handle themselves off the beaten track. The Land Cruiser V8 has an air of United Nations about it, and most styling is there for practical reasons.
The vast headlamps work very well, the dipped beam is wide and has excellent fill — and the full beam is one of the most powerful we’ve experienced, well up to use on the African veldt. The big, chunky door mirrors offer a superb range of view and are fitted with powerful heating elements capable of clearing condensation or frost in seconds.
Standard wheels measure 20in and look tiny, emphasising the sheer size of the car. Chrome bling is at a minimum.