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GR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser LC300: Off-Road Icon Dressed Up in Its Most Athletic Form
Although a very tough year in many ways for the car industry, from pandemic restrictions to silicon chip shortages, the SUV market witnessed some of the most exciting vehicle releases in recent times. Ranging from resurrecting old-time favorites like the Ford Bronco or the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, embracing new drivetrain alternatives such as the Mustang Mach E, or updating iconic models such as the Range Rover, we have seen it all.

GR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser LC300: Off-Road Icon Dressed Up in Its Most Athletic Form

GR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser 300 SeriesGR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser 300 SeriesGR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser 300 SeriesGR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser 300 SeriesGR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser 300 SeriesGR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser 300 SeriesGR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser 300 SeriesGR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser 300 SeriesGR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser 300 SeriesGR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser 300 SeriesGR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser 300 SeriesGR Sport Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series
Toyota also played its part this year, announcing during late summer an all-new generation of the Land Cruiser, their iconic flagship off-roader, in the form of the 300 Series. First launched in August 1951, the model officially celebrated its 70th birthday and a cumulative total sales figures of approximately 10.6 million units worldwide.

It comes feature-packed with goodies, as expected, with state-of-art driving aids, excellent comfort and ergonomics, and high-tech entertainment features. And if these were not enough, the new Land Cruiser 300 Series can be ordered for the first time in a Dakar Rally-inspired GR Sport configuration, making it able to survive even in the harshest driving conditions.



Toyota Gazoo Racing (GR) is the Japanese brand's motorsport department, first conceived in 2007 as an in-house team of test drivers and mechanics aiming to compete in the 24 Hours Nurburgring racing event. Over the years, it developed into a standalone company, developing GR series of models for the parent brand Toyota, such as the GR Supra or the GR Yaris, for example, both of them enjoying excellent support among the enthusiast community.

The exterior look of the new GR Sport Land Cruiser 300 Series distinguishes itself from the other configurations in the lineup. The general appearance emphasizes the vehicle's adventurous character, starting with the front fascia, which features a bold design by incorporating a honeycomb-patterned meshed gloss-black grille with prominent Toyota lettering and additional GR Sport badging on the grille, doors, and tailgate.

The black allow wheels and its elevated posture give off an aggressive demeanor, alongside other blacked-out body elements such as the black wheel arches, side steps, door handles, mirror caps, and window trims.



Under the hood, the new GR Sport Land Cruiser can be equipped with a selection of two powerplants. The first choice comes in the form of the new 3.5-liter V6 twin-turbo engine, also featured in the latest Tundra and Lexus LS500. It produces 409 hp and 480 lb-ft (650 Nm) of torque, good for an acceleration time from standstill to 62 mph (100 kph) of 6.7 seconds, pretty impressive considering the vehicle's large size and 5688 lbs (2580 kg) curb weight. It all comes down to Toyota's new multi-hole direct injector architecture, a longer stroke design, and optimized valve angle positioning combined with the high-efficiency turbocharger, offering enhanced engine response even at low speeds.

For those low-end torque lovers, Toyota also offers a diesel alternative in the form of the new 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6, which replaces the old 4.5-liter V8. The unit features various optimizations to its piston combustion chambers, intake ports, and injectors, producing 305 hp and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque, 100 Nm more than a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder Mercedes G400d variant, for instance. Both units are mated to Toyota's new 10-speed Direct Shift gearbox, providing good acceleration and torque in any situation, albeit on-road or during demanding off-road trails.

The main attraction of the GR Sport configuration is its suspension and chassis setup, intended for maximum performance off the beaten paths. For starters, the vehicle comes fitted as standard with front and rear locking differentials, as well as the all-new electronic-kinetic dynamic suspension system (E-KDSS) suspension control system. It automatically and electronically controls each front and rear stabilizer independently, providing fast and precise reactions to the road surface, ensuring unhindered vehicle stability.



The interior space is a beautiful place to spend time in, especially during unforgiving off-road conditions. The fine leather upholstery is finished in a Gazoo Racing-themed two-tone color scheme, complemented by GR Sport badging on the steering wheel, the front seats, and the infotainment system. Luxury amenities are plenty inside the GR Sport Land Cruiser. Some of them include heated and cooled power-adjustable seats, power sunroof, configurable touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a crisp head-up display, a wireless phone charger, and even a drinks chiller hidden in the central console.

The pricing for the GR Sport variant of the Land Cruiser 300 Series is steep, starting from $137,790, quite a departure from the base $89,990 configuration of the GX variant, for example. The sad part is that no version of this new generation of Land Cruiser will officially come to the US marker. The main alternative for the GR Sport, or any other LC300 variant for that matter, would be the even more luxurious, recently released for the US, Lexus LX 600.

 
 
 
 
 

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