PROGRES.ID – Toyota is currently active in developing compact off-road vehicles that appear to be strong competitors for the Suzuki Jimny. According to Japanese media reports, this vehicle will be available with hybrid and electric engine options.
The vehicle, known as the ‘Land Cruiser Mini,’ is scheduled to be introduced next year and seems to be a production version of the Compact Cruiser EV concept shown a few years ago. The official name of this vehicle may also be Lite Cruiser or Yaris Cruiser. Although the concept uses electric power, the mass-produced version of this SUV will also be available with an internal combustion engine.
The report also notes that the Land Cruiser Mini will have a size similar to the Corolla Cross and will be longer than the five-door Suzuki Jimny. To compete closely with the Jimny, this vehicle will use a body-on-frame chassis known for its toughness in off-road terrain. The overall length is estimated to be around 4,350 millimeters, width 1,860 mm, and height 1,880 mm. Its exterior design will draw inspiration from the Compact Cruiser concept, including round LED headlights and a spare wheel mounted on the rear door, giving it an authentic appearance.
This model is often referred to as the “Jimny killer” and is expected to make its global debut at the Japan Mobility Show 2023, which will be held next month in Tokyo.
Regarding the engine to be used, there are several speculations. One of them is the use of the 2.0L gasoline engine used in the Corolla Cross, the 2.5L hybrid engine found in the RAV4, or even the four-cylinder turbocharged 2.8L diesel engine found in the Prado and Hilux. Toyota is also preparing a mild-hybrid system for the GD series diesel engine used in the Fortuner and Hilux, but it is still unclear whether this system will be available in the Land Cruiser Mini or not.
Toyota seems to be taking a significant step in this compact off-road vehicle segment with the Land Cruiser Mini, which will offer a combination of off-road durability and environmentally friendly technology.