AUSTRALIA: Toyota creates Land Cruiser LC79 for mining prospects
It reaches dealers in late September priced from AU$63,990, complete with a standard A-pillar air-inlet snorkel
Australia is the first market for Toyota's new Land Cruiser LC79 double cab. Developed with the country's mining boom in mind, the new variant can even be fitted with rail arms to travel on mining train lines.
Toyota says the new body style was specifically developed for Australia's mineral extraction operators. In mine pits, the vehicles and their owners have to cope with extreme dust in the dry and thick mud in the wet.
The current generation 70 Series, unknown in many markets but popular in Australia, dates to 1984. The last facelift for this rugged off-roader was five years ago, at which time it also introduced Toyota's then-new 4.5-litre turbodiesel.
The LC79 Double Cab features this V8, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox and part-time 4WD with a two-speed transfer case. Underlining the 70 Series' workhorse reputation, the fuel tank has a capacity of 130 litres.
Toyota Australia's executive director of sales and marketing Matthew Callachor said mining companies and other regional and rural communities had been keenly waiting for the arrival of the new double cab.
"The 70-Series is so popular for the really tough jobs that customers have been modifying the wagon version to provide the flexibility of a double-cab ute," Callachor said.
"The double cab will carry five adults as well as providing a one-tonne payload for their heavy gear, such as surveying equipment," he added.
The 70 Series range for the Aussie market now consists of four body styles:
- Single Cab
- Double Cab
- Troop Carrier
Toyota has long been the market leader and the Hilux, an import from Thailand, is its most popular model. In July, last year's best selling vehicle, the Mazda3, was outsold by the Toyota ute for the fourth consecutive month.
Toyota Australia points out that its sales for the month were greater than the combined totals of the second and third-placed brands. Hilux registrations reached 4,163 units in July, which was 24% higher than any other new vehicle.
Author: Glenn Brooks