Toyota is reportedly in the works to introduce a new mini off-roader, a Land Cruiser Mini, which will be based on the Compact Cruiser EV concept unveiled in 2021. This compact SUV is expected to make its debut later this year, generating excitement among automotive enthusiasts.
According to reports originating from Japan and other sources (Best Car Web, Drive Australia, Mag-X), the Land Cruiser Mini is set to offer a range of powertrain options. Initially, the Compact Cruiser concept was introduced as an electric vehicle, but Toyota appears to be taking a diversified approach. Traditional gasoline and diesel engines are in the plans, likely aimed at markets where electric vehicles are not yet practical or popular.
However, it’s anticipated that Toyota will also cater to the growing demand for hybrid and electric vehicles. In particular, the European and North American markets are likely to see hybrid or fully electric versions of the Land Cruiser Mini. The specific powertrains under consideration include the electrified 2.5-liter engine found in the RAV4 and the 2.0-liter engine from the Corolla Cross.
One intriguing development is the potential use of a turbocharged 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine, already utilized in models like the Prado and Hilux. This robust engine generates an impressive 201 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, making it suitable for a rugged compact 4×4. In certain markets, Toyota might even offer a hybrid version of this engine, with an electric motor positioned between the engine and transmission and a battery pack located under the boot floor. This setup could potentially make the Land Cruiser Mini a plug-in hybrid capable of operating on electric power alone.
Additionally, reports suggest the inclusion of a naturally aspirated 2.7-liter engine in the lineup, and Toyota is also said to be working on an all-electric version. This electric drivetrain is expected to debut in the new Tacoma before finding its way into the Land Cruiser Mini. Notably, the Land Cruiser Mini will share its platform with the Tacoma pickup.
In terms of design, the Land Cruiser Mini is anticipated to draw inspiration from the Compact Cruiser EV concept, but it will be considerably smaller. It’s expected to be close in size to the Corolla Cross but stand taller at 74 inches and wider at 73.2 inches. The front end will feature circle-shaped headlights, providing a distinctive look, while a spare wheel cover on the tailgate will add a touch of retro charm.
Production of the Land Cruiser Mini is expected to take place in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, with fully electric variants potentially being manufactured in Japan. Toyota insiders have reportedly dubbed this compact SUV the “Jimny Killer,” indicating its intended segment.
While there’s speculation that the Land Cruiser Mini might make its debut at the Japan Mobility Show 2023 in October, this has yet to be confirmed. Although it remains uncertain if the Land Cruiser Mini will be available in the United States, its potential arrival has generated excitement among automotive enthusiasts.