At the world premiere of the new "250" Series, Head of Design Simon Humphries spoke about the Land Cruiser's true value.
The world premiere of the new Land Cruiser “250” took place on August 2 in Tokyo.
Built on the same GA-F platform as the 300, the new “250” Series delivers superb off-road capabilities, strong environmental performance with various powertrains—including the Land Cruiser’s first hybrid system—as well as improved handling and advanced safety features.
The event showcased a lineup of Land Cruisers which, since the 1951 Toyota BJ model, have charted new roads in some 170 countries and regions.
Also on show was the Land Cruiser “70”, which will return to Japan as a regular model. The “70” Series was discontinued in 2004 and then released as a limited-edition 30th-anniversary model in 2014. Now an updated version will be available, including improved fuel efficiency and reduced noise.
Simon Humphries, Toyota’s Chief Branding Officer and Senior General Manager of Design, took the stage to outline the Land Cruiser’s history and the concept behind the latest model. In fulfilling Chairman Akio Toyoda’s mission of going “back to the origin,” Humphries discovered the true soul of the Land Cruiser.
The history of Land Cruiser is a history of Toyota
The history of Land Cruiser is a history of Toyota itself.
Let me take you back exactly 72 years, when the Land Cruiser legend was born.
It was the time of Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of Toyota Motor Corporation. The company was only 14 years old, a disruptive “start-up” in the automotive world.
Corolla and Crown were still to come, and Toyota was hardly known outside Japan.
Fast forward to today, and Land Cruiser is sold in 170 countries and regions around the world...
Literally, Land Cruiser put Toyota on the map.
The car makes the road
Lifelong bonds are often formed in the most demanding of circumstances, and our customers have experienced the extremes of life alongside their Land Cruisers.
From prairies to deserts, from the North to the South poles, it is safe to say, Land Cruiser has seen more sides of life than any other automobile in history.
Mud, ice, sand, salt…Across the planet there are many perilous roads...
At Toyota, we like to say, “the road makes the car”. With the Land Cruiser, “the car makes the road.”
These roads connect communities and enable irreplaceable ways of life.
- In rural Africa, a doctor rushes to a patient through floodwaters.
- In the Australian outback, an elderly woman takes a two-day roundtrip to the nearest town.
- In Antarctica, an observation team works in a minus 45-degree blizzard...
...Indeed, one of the first cars to conquer Antarctica was a Land Cruiser 40 Series.
Moving to one of the hottest places on earth...the first exports of Land Cruiser were to the Middle East in the mid-1950s.
Thanks to Saudi Arabian car distributor Abdul Jameel, local folklore now says, "Only a Land Cruiser, or a camel, can get you over these dunes.”
The value of Land Cruiser
But it was here in Japan, in an area only accessible on horseback, that the story began.
In 1951, on the steep volcanic slopes of Mt. Fuji, the development of the first-generation Land Cruiser, the Toyota BJ, started at the request of the Japan National Police Reserve.
This sounds like the perfect story, but in reality, it didn’t get the job. But like any good recruit, it set out to prove itself.
It became the first-ever vehicle to reach the 6th station of Mt. Fuji, an altitude of 2,700 m. This resilience paid off: it got its first commission as a police patrol car, and its goal in life became clear, to protect livelihoods.
You see before you many examples of Land Cruisers throughout the years. What unites them is simple: their ultimate mission is to take you wherever you need to go, and always bring you back.
If a Land Cruiser breaks down, it is not just a matter of inconvenience... It can become a threat to life itself.
The value of Land Cruiser comes down to one word...TRUST. The trust to put my life in your hands.