The Toyota Land Cruiser Mini is poised to make its global debut at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, with plans for its entry into the Asian market in 2024. Toyota is gearing up to introduce a new compact off-roader aimed squarely at challenging the Suzuki Jimny, and reports from Japanese media suggest it may offer hybrid and electric powertrain options.
Expected to hit the market sometime next year, the Toyota ‘Land Cruiser Mini’ is essentially the production version of the Compact Cruiser EV concept, which made waves a couple of years ago. Alternative names such as ‘Lite Cruiser’ or ‘Yaris Cruiser’ are also being considered. While the concept showcased electric capabilities, the production version will be available with a conventional combustion engine, and there’s speculation that a hybrid or petrol engine could be the preferred choice. A recent teaser, coinciding with the unveiling of the all-new Prado a few weeks ago, hinted at the mini LC’s silhouette, which closely mirrors that of the Compact Cruiser concept, featuring tall pillars and a nearly flat roofline.
The Land Cruiser Mini is expected to be roughly the same size as the Corolla Cross and notably longer than the five-door Suzuki Jimny, positioning it as a formidable rival. To compete effectively with the Jimny, Toyota has opted for a body-on-frame chassis, deviating from the previously anticipated TNGA-C architecture. Preliminary dimensions are estimated at an overall length of 4,350 mm, a width of 1,860 mm, and a height of 1,880 mm. It’s expected to stand as tall as the latest Prado while remaining significantly more compact. The exterior design, inspired by the Compact Cruiser concept, will likely incorporate circular LED headlamps and feature a spare wheel mounted on the tailgate to capture an authentic off-road look.
Internally referred to as the “Jimny killer,” the Land Cruiser Mini could mark its global debut at the Tokyo Motor Show next month. As for its powertrain options, reports vary. Speculations range from a 2.0L petrol engine borrowed from the Corolla Cross to a 2.5L petrol/hybrid engine seen in the RAV4, and even a 2.8L turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine, similar to what’s found in the Prado and Hilux. Toyota is also in the process of introducing a mild-hybrid system for its GD series diesel engine in the Fortuner and Hilux, but whether it will be available in the Land Cruiser Mini remains uncertain. Furthermore, there’s talk of an electric drivetrain being introduced for the fourth-gen Tacoma pickup truck, potentially making its way into the LC Mini in the near future.