EXPANDED safety features and the dropping of the 4.0-litre petrol V6 will be the hallmarks of the new 2018 Toyota LandCruiser Prado, introduced at the Frankfurt motor show and due in Australia in November, with the new model distinguished by more modern and robust exterior styling and a higher quality interior design.
Prado’s freshened exterior features a bonnet sculpted in the centre to enhance downward visibility with fenders that have been re-profiled to help drivers more easily locate the vehicle extremities, while a revised grille is flanked by restyled headlamps with main beams positioned inboard to avoid damage from obstacles during off-road driving.
Lower corners on the new front and rear bumpers kick upwards to enhance off-road manoeuvrability. The redesigned rear includes new lamp clusters and a smaller rear garnish plate incorporated within the number-plate surround.
Inside the more upscale interior, the dashboard, instrument binnacle and switch gear are newly designed. The revised centre console, which incorporates a flush-surface air-conditioning control panel, has a lower profile at the top for a sleeker appearance and improved forward visibility.
Prado’s enhanced active safety technologies, including autonomous features – previously fitted to the premium VX and Kakadu variants – have been added to the automatic variants of the GX and GXL grades.
Designed to help prevent accidents or mitigate their consequences, the technologies include a Pre-Collision Safety system that can now detect impact risks with pedestrians as well as vehicles.
Relying on a camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror and a radar in the grille, these devices enable the Prado to operate its brakes autonomously to reduce the vehicle’s speed and even bring the car to a halt. A smart active cruise control system can also slow the car to a standstill if necessary.
Every Prado is now equipped with a Lane Departure Alert system that monitors lane markings and helps prevent accidents and head-on collisions caused by a vehicle leaving its lane. If the vehicle starts to deviate from its lane without the indicators being used, the system alerts the driver with visual and audible warnings.
The range is also fitted with automatic high beam, a system that can detect the headlights or taillights of vehicles ahead and automatically switch between high and low beams to avoid dazzling other drivers.
The VX grade, in addition, now features Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert systems from the Kakadu, that support safer motoring by giving the driver better real-time information about the area immediately around the car.
In Australia, Prado is powered by a high-torque 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine with an electronically controlled common-rail direct-injection system. Mated to the six-speed automatic transmission, the power train develops an impressive 450Nm of torque.
When mated to the six-speed manual transmission available in the GX or GXL, this engine develops peak torque of 420Nm. Maximum power is 130kW.
The 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine will no longer be offered in Australia due to overwhelming consumer preference for the turbo-diesel engine.
Further details, including other new premium features and pricing, will be announced closer to the vehicle’s arrival in local dealerships.