Dave From Toyota - What We Learned In Breck About The 200...

Canyonero

Beating up Land Cruisers since 2015
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
642
Location
Centennial, CO
I wanted to get this thread up before I forget a lot of what the Toyota rep, Dave, told us last night at dinner.

First, I'll do my best to recap his credibility. This guy was involved with product development of the 200 Series Land Cruiser about 10 years ago. He worked with the Toyota engineers in Japan and in many other countries on various continents, testing every aspect of the 200.

Interestingly, he also is involved with product development for just about every other North American market Toyota as well, so he had some interesting insight into Toyota product planning, development, and execution.

This guy was great - the real deal - and he patiently answered a LOT of our questions. Here's some of the info we gathered from him:

- When is the 300 Series Land Cruiser coming out?
--There is not a date yet. The 200 Series was supposed to be a 9-year product lifecycle, but it's already at 10 years and there is not a 300 Series in sight yet. It sounds like it's coming, but we are probably a few years out at this point.

- Why not a diesel in an LC?
-- Dave pointed specifically to the Cummins Diesel in the new Titan as exhibit A as to why Toyota will NOT be putting a diesel in the LC. He pointed to the attributes of a diesel: torque/towing ability, fuel economy and durability. Basically, Toyota feels that the current 5.7 V8 in the 200 is a tank and checks all those boxes. Further, with US emissions regulations, Toyota would have to choke out a diesel to the degree where consumers would not get 2 out of 3 of the benefits. Fuel economy would not be great and power would not be great. We already have amazing longevity from the 5.7, so Toyota is not going to spend millions to add a diesel power plant to the US LC.

- What power plant is being developed for the 300 series LC?
-- This is interesting - Dave alluded to there definitely being a new motor under development for the 300. He clearly knew things he was not at liberty to tell us here, but I took his hedging to mean they are probably looking at some kind of turbo powerplant.

-Why doesn't the 200 come with a locker?
--Dave doesn't really know is the best I could determine from his response. He referenced his conversation with the head engineer from Toyota from 10 years ago where Dave asked that exact same question. Dave was apparently met with a Japanese expletive-ridden response from the engineer, but no clear answer. We asked Dave if it was related to QDR (quality/durability/reliability) and Dave emphatically said that wasn't it. Dave said that the direction for Toyota was to continue to use traction aids such as ATRAC and CRAWL.

-Will there be a TRD Pro version of the 200 or 300 LC?
-- Doesn't sound like it. Dave said, "wouldn't you rather turn to the after market to make your rig exactly how you want it?" -- I think this was maybe a carrot to ARB and Slee who were also in the room, but I personally found it to be a dodge. I think that if Toyota actually released a TRD Pro 200 - lifted suspension, bigger (maybe 34") tires, maybe a locker, etc. that they would actually be able to sell them (I know that would have been my starting point for my build.)

- Will Toyota ever put steel bumpers on a 4x4?
-- No. Not going to happen. Never.

- Will Toyota ever again develop a shorter wheelbase 4x4 to compete with the Wrangler? What happened to the FJ?
-- So the FJ was designed for a 7 year product cycle and was intended to be killed off at that point, which it was. I always thought this was related to CAFE standards and Toyota needing to have a higher average MPG for their products. Not so, according to Dave. If I recall correctly, he essentially said the business case for the FJ just wasn't as strong, given the sales of 4Runner and Tacoma. He went on to say, very importantly, that the sole reason Toyota hasn't gone after Jeep with a direct competitor is the liability. Basically, the lawyers at Toyota do everything in their power to keep the company from getting sued. A short wheelbase vehicle is more likely to rollover and Toyota just isn't willing to deal with that. Dave said "we already get sued all the time."

- Will the LC ever be a unit-body construction:
-- It will always be a BoF (body on frame) vehicle, based on the capability required of the vehicle.

- Will the FJ Cruiser ever come back?
-- No. No plans to bring it back again.

- Any info on the upcoming Toyota Supra?
-- Release date early 2019; should have north of 400hp, expect a manual option. Dave would not comment on powertrain other than to indicate it was a joint build with BMW and it will NOT be using BMW's ubiquitous 3.0 twin turbo inline 6. He said it may have a 3.5 v6 turbo and there may be a hybrid variant.

That's most of what I recall from the conversation. An important, if not somewhat disturbing takeway, was that Toyota doesn't really build vehicles FOR the off-road enthusiast. Certainly not to the degree many of the LCDC members use their trucks. I took from Dave's conversation with us that Toyota wants their vehicles to be tough and last forever, but that actual capability is lower on the list for them. The main reason is liability (from what I gathered) - the more capable you build and market the vehicle, the more likely you are to get sued when people flip it, roll it or otherwise make poor decisions.

Dave specifically said that when they were developing the 200, they wanted to make sure the vehicle had a "normal service life" - but that it could and would have that normal service life in the harshest of environments; even environments that don't even have roads.

I hope that helps - please chime in if you were there and I missed some things!
 
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
189
Location
Texas
Thanks Canyonero . You absolutely read my mind. I was hoping someone would capture and/or start a thread on this topic.
 
Joined
May 31, 2013
Messages
1,059
Location
Chicago
Thanks for the info! Wish I could have been a fly in that room. I wonder if they are designing the 300 to run 34s. I am surprised by his comment of normal service life instead of extended service life.

I am glad that it will always be a body on frame vehicle. I pray they dont go to a V6 and keep this a monstrous V8.
 

bamma

SILVER Star
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
769
Location
Spokane
Thanks for the info! Wish I could have been a fly in that room. I wonder if they are designing the 300 to run 34s. I am surprised by his comment of normal service life instead of extended service life.

I am glad that it will always be a body on frame vehicle. I pray they dont go to a V6 and keep this a monstrous V8.
Well you would think a car that lasts for a "normal service life" somewhere without roads will have an extended service life is less extreme environments.
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
582
Location
Denver
To expand on the when will the 300 be coming, and the life cycle of the LC in general. It was interesting to hear what he had to say about body on frame construction. Other than pickup trucks, it makes the 200 LC a rare truck/SUV in today's market. Now relating to the delay of the newer version LC (called a 300 or not), and the usual 9ish year life cycle of a design, is Toyota stalled in thinking what to do? He mentioned the power plant might be turbo charged, and it would remain BOF, he also said it might be more angular, less rounded, more military looking (right?).

One takeaway that was good news, is that Toyota loves the LC and will always make it and import it :)
 
Joined
May 31, 2013
Messages
1,059
Location
Chicago
I prefer
Did he say why? I know from research that the AHC in the 200 series is more robust then the 100 series.
I bought the LC over the LX because of the suspension even though at the time I preferred the LX in every other way. AHC is nice but disconnects the driver from the road and is terrible in parking in tight spots.
 

DOCBG

SILVER Star
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
665
Location
Fort Collins, colorado
I wanted to get this thread up before I forget a lot of what the Toyota rep, Dave, told us last night at dinner.

First, I'll do my best to recap his credibility. This guy was involved with product development of the 200 Series Land Cruiser about 10 years ago. He worked with the Toyota engineers in Japan and in many other countries on various continents, testing every aspect of the 200.

Interestingly, he also is involved with product development for just about every other North American market Toyota as well, so he had some interesting insight into Toyota product planning, development, and execution.

This guy was great - the real deal - and he patiently answered a LOT of our questions. Here's some of the info we gathered from him:

- When is the 300 Series Land Cruiser coming out?
--There is not a date yet. The 200 Series was supposed to be a 9-year product lifecycle, but it's already at 10 years and there is not a 300 Series in sight yet. It sounds like it's coming, but we are probably a few years out at this point.

- Why not a diesel in an LC?
-- Dave pointed specifically to the Cummins Diesel in the new Titan as exhibit A as to why Toyota will NOT be putting a diesel in the LC. He pointed to the attributes of a diesel: torque/towing ability, fuel economy and durability. Basically, Toyota feels that the current 5.7 V8 in the 200 is a tank and checks all those boxes. Further, with US emissions regulations, Toyota would have to choke out a diesel to the degree where consumers would not get 2 out of 3 of the benefits. Fuel economy would not be great and power would not be great. We already have amazing longevity from the 5.7, so Toyota is not going to spend millions to add a diesel power plant to the US LC.

- What power plant is being developed for the 300 series LC?
-- This is interesting - Dave alluded to there definitely being a new motor under development for the 300. He clearly knew things he was not at liberty to tell us here, but I took his hedging to mean they are probably looking at some kind of turbo powerplant.

-Why doesn't the 200 come with a locker?
--Dave doesn't really know is the best I could determine from his response. He referenced his conversation with the head engineer from Toyota from 10 years ago where Dave asked that exact same question. Dave was apparently met with a Japanese expletive-ridden response from the engineer, but no clear answer. We asked Dave if it was related to QDR (quality/durability/reliability) and Dave emphatically said that wasn't it. Dave said that the direction for Toyota was to continue to use traction aids such as ATRAC and CRAWL.

-Will there be a TRD Pro version of the 200 or 300 LC?
-- Doesn't sound like it. Dave said, "wouldn't you rather turn to the after market to make your rig exactly how you want it?" -- I think this was maybe a carrot to ARB and Slee who were also in the room, but I personally found it to be a dodge. I think that if Toyota actually released a TRD Pro 200 - lifted suspension, bigger (maybe 34") tires, maybe a locker, etc. that they would actually be able to sell them (I know that would have been my starting point for my build.)

- Will Toyota ever put steel bumpers on a 4x4?
-- No. Not going to happen. Never.

- Will Toyota ever again develop a shorter wheelbase 4x4 to compete with the Wrangler? What happened to the FJ?
-- So the FJ was designed for a 7 year product cycle and was intended to be killed off at that point, which it was. I always thought this was related to CAFE standards and Toyota needing to have a higher average MPG for their products. Not so, according to Dave. If I recall correctly, he essentially said the business case for the FJ just wasn't as strong, given the sales of 4Runner and Tacoma. He went on to say, very importantly, that the sole reason Toyota hasn't gone after Jeep with a direct competitor is the liability. Basically, the lawyers at Toyota do everything in their power to keep the company from getting sued. A short wheelbase vehicle is more likely to rollover and Toyota just isn't willing to deal with that. Dave said "we already get sued all the time."

- Will the LC ever be a unit-body construction:
-- It will always be a BoF (body on frame) vehicle, based on the capability required of the vehicle.

- Will the FJ Cruiser ever come back?
-- No. No plans to bring it back again.

- Any info on the upcoming Toyota Supra?
-- Release date early 2019; should have north of 400hp, expect a manual option. Dave would not comment on powertrain other than to indicate it was a joint build with BMW and it will NOT be using BMW's ubiquitous 3.0 twin turbo inline 6. He said it may have a 3.5 v6 turbo and there may be a hybrid variant.

That's most of what I recall from the conversation. An important, if not somewhat disturbing takeway, was that Toyota doesn't really build vehicles FOR the off-road enthusiast. Certainly not to the degree many of the LCDC members use their trucks. I took from Dave's conversation with us that Toyota wants their vehicles to be tough and last forever, but that actual capability is lower on the list for them. The main reason is liability (from what I gathered) - the more capable you build and market the vehicle, the more likely you are to get sued when people flip it, roll it or otherwise make poor decisions.

Dave specifically said that when they were developing the 200, they wanted to make sure the vehicle had a "normal service life" - but that it could and would have that normal service life in the harshest of environments; even environments that don't even have roads.

I hope that helps - please chime in if you were there and I missed some things!
Did he say whether they would keep the LX basically the same vehicle as the LC for the 300 series minus the suspension?
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2011
Messages
266
Location
Denver, CO
Canyonero - Thanks so much for the write up. Very nice of you to put that out for all of us. I did have a question about the steel bumper. You mentioned that Toyota will never but a steel bumper on their 4x4s, but they offer a steel bull bar bumper right now. I don't know if it's OEM'd through another company (ARB, TJM, etc.) or if they make it in-house. I guess you're referring to just a stock steel bumper (non-bull bar)?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Messages
3,556
Location
Denver, CO
Canyonero - Thanks so much for the write up. Very nice of you to put that out for all of us. I did have a question about the steel bumper. You mentioned that Toyota will never but a steel bumper on their 4x4s, but they offer a steel bull bar bumper right now. I don't know if it's OEM'd through another company (ARB, TJM, etc.) or if they make it in-house. I guess you're referring to just a stock steel bumper (non-bull bar)?
I believe he meant Toyota would not offer a steel bumper in the US due to litigation concerns. The Toyota rep mentioned over and over how litigation concerns in the US limited many offerings we receive which isn't a surprise at all. When you look at the configurator around the world for the 200, you can see all kinds of cool factory options we don't get here which is for myriad reasons, but my guess would be the number one reason is fear of lawsuits. He mentioned several times that we should look to the aftermarket to folks like Slee and ARB to outfit our trucks how we see fit beyond stock.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2011
Messages
266
Location
Denver, CO
I believe he meant Toyota would not offer a steel bumper in the US due to litigation concerns. The Toyota rep mentioned over and over how litigation concerns in the US limited many offerings we receive which isn't a surprise at all. When you look at the configurator around the world for the 200, you can see all kinds of cool factory options we don't get here which is for myriad reasons, but my guess would be the number one reason is fear of lawsuits. He mentioned several times that we should look to the aftermarket to folks like Slee and ARB to outfit our trucks how we see fit beyond stock.
Thank you for the explanation. That makes sense.
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2017
Messages
102
Location
New York
I prefer


I bought the LC over the LX because of the suspension even though at the time I preferred the LX in every other way. AHC is nice but disconnects the driver from the road and is terrible in parking in tight spots.
I'm curious as how AHC makes it harder to park in tight spots. I park mine every day in tight spots in NYC and actually think it's easier to park than other Toyota suvs I've had/have.
 
Top Bottom