SEMA edition TRD LandCruiser 200 Series revealed…why?
The SEMA edition TRD LandCruiser 200 Series concept has been revealed at SEMA alongside a number of other one-off concepts that Toyota says it wants feedback on… do we smell a special edition?
TOYOTA HAS SOLD the LandCruiser in the US since 1957 with American owners loving the big off-roader as much as we do here in Australia. So, for SEMA this year, Toyota let its performance arm TRD loose on the LandCruiser… well, it let them a little bit loose on the thing.
Toyota has said it’s only a concept, and that there won’t be a TRD edition of the LandCruiser 200 Series released on the market.
“We think our SEMA Edition TRD vehicles will surprise many,” said Steve Appelbaum, National Engagement Marketing Manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “These concepts are hot—dare we say sexy—vehicles that are equal parts show and go.” Well, we see the show and we’ll get to the “go” shortly.
Based on the refreshed 2016 Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series, the SEMA edition has seen the front raised by two inches to sit level with the rear (which remains at its stock height), and improve approach angles and ground clearance. A TRD skid plate protects the underbody of the vehicle.
The standard suspension has been “enhanced” by TRD adjustable remote-reservoir coilover shock absorbers, while TRD adjustable remote-reservoir shocks and springs augment the rear suspension.
Exterior additions include a TRD brush guard with LED driving lights; a TRD performance off-road air snorkel; bronze-colored TRD tubular running boards; and a roof-mounted cargo pod. At the rear, there’s a TRD performance cat-back dual-tip exhaust. It rides on 285/55/20 tires and TRD 20×10-inch performance wheels front and rear.
This is all well and good, but it isn’t how you’d build a touring 200 Series. Not even close.
First off, nobody replaces 17″ rims with plenty of sidewall and lots of good tyre options with 20″ low-profile versions you can’t air down properly. Then up front, that nudge bar is purely cosmetic and offers no protection, nor will be it a good place to securely mount gear such as spotlights because it is likely to shake over corrugations. That lightbar is a good idea, but mounted too low – should be higher up for a better spread and to protect from damage.
Then we come to the sidesteps. These should be rocksliders, able to take the car’s weight over rocks. Of course, that would make airbag compliance a problem but Toyota made the car, they should be able to come up with a solution. If not, ditch them.
Up top – the cargo pod is not a top choice for overlanders because it doesn’t offer much cargo room. Instead, most run a flat, full-length roofrack and tie gear onto it.
We also note the third row is up. Not on a touring 200 it won’t be, unless there’s a trailer behind – there should be a cargo barrier there instead and some sort of storage system. Speaking of behind, that exhaust tip doesn’t do much for the departure angle so it can go. And while we’re there, why lift the front and not the back? The car looks ok now unloaded, but put some weight in it – 60L of water, camping gear, food, recovery gear -and the back will sag. A positive rake unloaded is a good thing. Also, the handling won’t be improved by raising one end with stiffer springs and not touching the rear. Just don’t get this. At least the snorkel and front bashplate are a decent start.
We’re not clear on the intent behind this vehicle. It’s definitely not a serious tourer, it’s not a racer…but I suppose it gives us something to look at.
If you have a proper touring 200 please post a photo and a brief description below.