Toyota's new engine for the Land Cruiser joins a small but select group of diesel V8s. It uses twin low-inertia turbochargers and common-rail injection to deliver a peak power output of 282bhp and a massive 479lb ft of torque, available from just 1600rpm.

The Land Cruiser’s raw performance figures only tell part of the story. We couldn’t quite match Toyota’s claimed 8.2sec 0-62mph time on damp asphalt, but our figure of 8.6sec is still striking in a vehicle that weighs very nearly three tonnes.

A conventional manual handbrake is unusual in luxurious cars like this, but it suits the Land Cruiser’s no-nonsense nature

In-gear times were similarly striking, not least the 5.4sec taken to go from 50-70mph.

The Land Cruiser’s part-throttle behaviour is even more impressive, with an almost total lack of turbo lag and strong, effortless response from idle. We do have one criticism, though: the off-the-line response of our test car was disappointing, with a good half-second delay between pressing the throttle and the torque converter getting things moving.

Drive is supplied to all four wheels via a standard-fit six-speed automatic gearbox (with the option of manual override), plus a torque-sensing centre differential that can smoothly vary the amount of torque between the front and rear axles to promote stability.

The diff can be locked, and low-range gears selected, via switches on the dashboard.

Braking performance is respectable considering the sheer mass involved; the solid pedal gives proportional responses and the sizeable ventilated discs that sit at each corner do a decent job of hauling everything up, although the 54.8 metres required to stop from 70mph compares poorly with the 50.45 metres it takes the Range Rover TDV8 to perform the same task.


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