Creating fresh, new prize packages is a regular occurrence for the people at Mater Cars for Cancer and draw 102 is no different. Aside from the choice of a Zone Base caravan or a Sea Ray rec boat, they’re giving away a brand-new 300-series LandCruiser. Either way, winning will get you out there behind the wheel of Toyota’s latest legend.
From the bold TOYOTA lettering across the LandCruiser’s imposing grille, to improvements in power, safety, economy and versatility, there’s plenty to love about the new 300 series. Furthermore, this is no facelift, but an entirely new generation of Toyota’s long-lived off-road truckster, the first in 14 years and therefore a long time coming.
If that script across the snout looks strangely familiar, it’s because the styling of the GR Sport harks back to the classic LandCruisers of old. It was 1995 when a mid-life facelift on the old 80-series did away with the classic TOYOTA script and aside from revisiting it for the retro FJ Cruiser, it’s been gone for 26 years. So why bring it back? There’s nothing wrong with Toyota’s modern ‘cosmic moose’ logo, is there?
No, there’s not. But a company like Toyota doesn’t get to be playful very often. They’re improving, but heck, they make Camrys, remember. The new/old TOYOTA scripting is exclusive to just the one trim level of the 300 series, the LandCruiser GR Sport that comes along with the winning ticket. And if you’re going to call your sports division ‘Gazoo Racing’, variations of which appear on the GR Yaris hot hatch and the one-make TGRA 86 racing series, then whacking a giant 1980s TOYOTA script across the front of the Cruiser should be easy to get past the boardroom stiffs. And how good does it look? And how good will it look in your driveway?
The big news for the 300 series is the introduction of Toyota’s all new, 3.3 litre V6 twin turbo diesel, replacing the venerable 4.5 litre V8 that powered the 200. Superseding an engine of legendary status is no mean feat and only time will tell if the new V6 ascends to the same lofty heights of greatness, but it’s all there on paper and let’s face it; it’s a Toyota.
Despite the significant size and cylinder deficit of the V6, modern tech has pushed power and torque well beyond that of the old V8, with the V6 up some 27kws and 50Nms. That’s a handy increase to tow, oh I don’t know, a Base series ZB 20.6 ZONE RV caravan or a Sea Ray SPX 190 recreational watercraft. Something to consider, should you buy a ticket and win the prize.
The new V6 sits under an aluminium bonnet and is backed up by a 10-speed auto trans, helping give the 300 series a marked improvement in fuel economy. The separate chassis doesn’t lend itself to efficiency, but it’s certainly needed to carry over the off-road chops built into every LandCruiser across 70 years and multiple generations.
High tensile steel is used to add strength and reduce weight and aluminium appears amongst the suspension components, giving the LandCruiser a kerb weight up to 180kg lighter than its predecessor with an improvement in chassis stiffness. You’ll need this if you’ve won and want to get out there.
Getting out there won’t require a huge list of extras from your local fourbie accessories retailer, either. The 300 series adds a bunch of off-road gear exclusive to the LandCruiser GR Sport, such as front and rear locking differentials and Toyota’s latest version of E-KDSS, which works the sway bars. Increasing tension on the tarmac and reducing it off road gives the greatest compromise between handling and ability, while E-KDSS will also disconnect the sway bars completely if the ruts are deep and the rocks are high.
Certainly, Toyota’s new 300-series LandCruiser GT Sport has all the hallmarks of a modern classic. After seven decades dominating the heavy-duty off roader class in this country and others, Toyota know how to get things right. You too can experience this, while also helping those living with cancer, as well as those working to find a cure. All you need to do is grab a ticket in Mater Cars for Cancer’s prize draw 102; either way it’s a win.