The Northern Territory news Fri 13 Aug 2021
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
News Corp Australia
while still delivering on refinement. Steering is more predictable and progressive and easier when manoeuvring. Youre still aware youre dealing with 2.5 tonnes of metal, but theres better control on brisk direction changes. The 300 Series promises a big step forward on country roads, and even though tyres are 20mm narrower theres still decent grip for a big SUV. Less impressive is the firmer ride, something more pronounced from the back seats. Stiffer suspension helps the LC300 corner more adeptly but theres more jiggling. On gravel at upwards of 60km/h the 300 Series feels nicely composed. LandCruisers absorb big hits adeptly and the 300 is no exception. Our only issue was with multiple big hits, where the front-end could lumber. It may be lighter than before, but with an optional bullbar theres lots to control. Touring on sand or rough roads should be easier now that the Multi-Terrain Select system operates in high range. It optimises steering, throttle and traction control for various surfaces, making progress easier. Off-road, too, the LandCruiser has stepped up. Theres more clearance and articulation, giving the wheels more chance to connect with nature. Even so, climbing a sloppy, rutted steep muddy track tested its limits of adhesion, our only option being to back down before successfully trying a different line. During a brief muddy stint the LandCruiser performed effortlessly. Whereas the 200 Series graunches and groans as its electronics go about their business, the 300 is quieter, calmer and smarter. With up to three differential locks on the new GR Sport which sits at the top of the sixmodel line-up alongside the also-new Sahara ZX theres also the promise of more ability. While theres plenty more to learn, first impressions are that the new LandCruiser is a better beast on- and off-road, while engineers promise improved durability. Time will tell. VERDICT hhhhj Iconic off-roader delivers better bitumen driving manners while retaining off-road prowess. Meet the car Toyota Australiamanaged to keep secret for sixyears. Its a camouflaged mule ofthe all-new LandCruiser 300Series that hits dealerships later this year priced from a tick under $100,000 drive-away. Toyota has been testing them in Australia since 2015. If its tough enough for Australia, its tough enough for the world, says engineer Paul Diamandis. Australia is the spiritual home of the new LandCruiser. The secret testing prepares LandCruisers for life on outback stations, mines, desert tracks and the city and suburbs. Weve gone to the most remote regions, says Diamandis. Months before the LandCruiser was revealed, we were given a sneak peek at the 300 Series during testing at the Australian Automotive Research Centre in Anglesea, near Victorias Great Ocean Road. Its a vast network of roads and tracks used to develop everything from military machines to trucks and Toyotas. Security is tight. We were asked to sign confidentiality forms, while cameras, phones and computers were not allowed. Journalists were allowed to drive the new and old LandCruiser back to back. First impressions suggest plenty has stayed the same between the 200 and 300. The new Cruiser is about the same size as the old one, it rides on a ladder-frame chassis, has dual-range gearing and a bluff shape. Dig deeper, though, and the evolution becomes apparent. Every panel except the back quarter panel around the rear wheels is aluminium, reducing weight by about 200kg. Steel is still used in that rearmost panel because its easier to repair in remote areas. Getting up to speed is a lot easier in the new model. The new 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel is smooth and punchy, while the 10-speed automatic ensures the engine is in its sweet spot more often. Those mourning the end of the V8 may get over it when the 300 Series storms past them. The new auto is more relaxed, too. It allows the engine to hold lower revs on uphill stretches. Fuel use has dropped about 6 per cent, to a claimed 8.9 litres per 100km. With a three-tonne trailer behind acceleration is more leisurely, but the V6 has no issues building pace. From the outside, though, the V6 engine is unexpectedly noisy. That could be because our sole test vehicle was a development car, with tweaking still to be done. On the bitumen, the new LandCruiser is a marked improvement. Its sharper to drive, A new generation LandCruiser will arrive later this year. We drove a prototype at Toyotas local proving ground TOBY HAGON A LEGEND REBORN AT A GLANCE PRICE About $99,500-$152,000 drive-away WARRANTY/SERVICING 5 years/unlimited km, servicing costs not available SAFETY Ten airbags, SOS button, auto emergency braking and lane-keep assist. Blindspot monitoring and rear cross-traffic on all but base model ENGINE 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel, 227kW/700Nm THIRST 8.9L/100km (auto) SPARE Full-size TOW CAPACITY 3500kg