Choose your terrain,
draw your map,
conquer your adventure
The all new Land Cruiser 200 arrived in South Africa just weeks after its international debut at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of October. Essentially a clean sheet design, this latest top-of-the-range Land Cruiser follows the tried and tested formula of a strong, all steel body mounted on a ladder type frame for the highest level of durability in tough operating conditions – the type of conditions that have led to the Land Cruiser laying claim to the title “Master of Africa“.
The ladder type frame of the Land Cruiser 200 has side rails of a larger cross section in width and height for higher strength and rigidity. High tensile steel provides a lightweight but high strength frame. A hydro forming process is used for a number of the cross members to optimise the shape and material thickness of these elements of the frame to ensure the highest rigidity. Torsional rigidity is improved by 40%.
The roof section, body side panels and floorpan are made from rust resistant steel with the rust resistant coating combined with high tensile steel to achieve weight savings in the body structure together with added strength.
Liberal use is made of a foam type insulation material in the body side panels to deaden noise intrusion into the interior of the vehicle. Surface levels between the windscreen glass and the body have been minimised to reduce wind noise and the cowl ahead of the windscreen has been shaped to smooth the flow of air in this area. The position of the windscreen wipers has also been optimised to lower wind resistance and reduce noise. Sound absorbing material is placed throughout the floor and roof area and behind all major trim panels to further dampen noise within the Land Cruiser 200.
Safety built into design
An energy absorbing structure is built into the frame. This structure reacts with reinforced areas on the underbody of the vehicle. In the event of a heavy collision the frame and body react as a single unit to disperse impact energy in a linear manner for efficient impact absorption. The side rails have bend points built into their structure to encourage deformation and energy dispersal in the event of a severe crash impact. These also act to isolate distortion in the frame to a defined area.
The Land Cruiser 200 design team has also acted to limit injuries to pedestrians in the event of a frontal pedestrian impact. The bonnet area is designed to effectively absorb a pedestrian impact. The frontal area of the bonnet is designed to absorb impacts with shorter pedestrians, notably children, and the cowl area ahead of the windscreen is also designed to absorb pedestrian type impacts and reduce injuries. Impact absorbing structures are placed between the front apron and fenders to assist in reducing the severity of pedestrian injuries.
On the interior of the vehicle impact absorbing materials are applied in the areas of the roof headlining and garnishes for the side pillars. Frontal air bags are provided for the driver and front passenger as are knee airbags for both seats. Side airbag protection is provided for the front seats and outer seats in the second row. Curtain shield airbags provide side impact protection for all three rows of seats. Three point seat belts are provided for all seven seats.
The front seat headrests feature Toyota’s WIL (Whiplash Injury Lessening) active head restraint technology. The active head restraint mechanism detects movement in the seat occupant’s lower back area in the event of a rear-end collision and pushes the headrest upwards to reduce the severity of any impact in the neck area and reduce whiplash injuries.
Advanced active safety features
The 17 inch diameter alloy wheels fitted to the Land Cruiser 200 allow for large brake discs and calipers to be fitted for superb braking with resistance to brake fade. Ventilated discs are fitted front and rear with those at the front 340 mm in diameter and at the rear 345 mm.
A full suite of electronic driver aids is provided. Amongst these is “Multi-terrain“ ABS. In addition to the conventional anti lock-function that prevents the brakes from locking under normal driving conditions, this latest system is able to detect off-road conditions such as loose sand and automatically switches to an optimised setting for the given road conditions.
In addition to the wheel speed sensors that provide the major input for a traditional ABS system, the engine ECU is included in the logic loop of the new system to enhance the accuracy of feedback about the vehicle’s state including rate of acceleration, engine output, and wheel speed. The ABS system uses these inputs to determine the best slip rate to apply to achieve the optimum rate of deceleration. Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EDB) is featured in this system to ensure that the brake force is distributed optimally to all four wheels to ensure the best possible braking performance.
Brake Assist is a further element of the braking system on the Land Cruiser 200. When the Brake Assist system senses an emergency braking situation from the brake pedal action of the driver it will automatically generate a heavier braking force through the system to assist the driver in bringing the vehicle to a stop in the shortest distance possible.
The Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system detects any side slipping of the vehicle and then assists the driver in correcting this. When it detects an anomaly the VSC system automatically controls the engine output and the braking force to each individual wheel to suppress any unstable vehicle behaviour.
A VSC cut out switch is provided to allow the driver to override the system. This is used when the traction control element of the VSC prevents the driver from controlling the engine output when an increase in power is needed to help release the vehicle when it is stuck in mud or snow for instance. A simple press of a switch deactivates the VSC while the vehicle is in motion. It is reactivated when the switch is pressed again. If it is required to deactivate the system when the vehicle is stationery then the switch must be pressed for three seconds. The system will be reactivated when the switch is pressed again or when the ignition is switched on after an engine shut down.
The traction control system on the Land Cruiser 200 is an Active TRAC system for improved off-road traction. This system is equipped with a centre differential free mode when L4 is selected for a better driving feel and off road performance. With Active TRAC engine output and brake hydraulic pressure is controlled in relation to the selected transfer range with the assumption that H4 signifies easy driving conditions whilst L4 is indicative of severe off-road conditions.
Downhill Assist Control (DAC), a feature of the diesel model, assists the driver in maintaining a uniform vehicle speed and preventing the vehicle from running away on a steep downhill gradient. It does this by automatically controlling the braking force when engine braking alone is insufficient to slow the momentum of the vehicle. DAC ensures a stable descent without the wheels locking and allows the driver to concentrate on steering the vehicle without any need for other inputs.
The converse of this is Hill-start Assist Control (HAC). This system prevents the vehicle from sliding back when the driver pulls off on a steep uphill gradient. The system detects any reverse movement when the driver moves his foot from the brake to the accelerator to pull away and applies a braking force to hold the vehicle on the slope.
With both Downhill Assist Control and Hill-start Assist Control available there is just one more element to stabilise in off-road driving conditions and that is stable forward movement, often very difficult to achieve in rough conditions. For this, Toyota has introduced the CRAWL (Crawl Control) system.
This newly developed system from Toyota for the petrol engine version of the new Land Cruiser 200 allows the vehicle to maintain a low uniform speed over the roughest ground by controlling engine throttle inputs (power output) and brake pressure to individual wheels for the purpose of reducing the burden on the driver and providing a more comfortable ride when travelling off-road. Any tendency for the wheels to spin or lock is inhibited.
Without any need to control accelerator and brake inputs the driver can apply his full attention to steering the vehicle along the best course. Crawl Control was developed by Toyota by recording the pedal operations of accomplished off-road drivers to use as the base for a digital model for the CRAWL system. The result is an excellent automated driving model that is able to impress even the most seasoned of Toyota’s off-road test drivers who have contributed to the development of the system.
The Land Cruiser 200 CRAWL function allows for three distinct speed settings for conditions that range from rocky terrain through loose rubble on a downhill slope to snow and mud or loose gravel. The settings correspond to Lo (1km/h), Mid (3km/h), and Hi (5 km/h).
The wheel target speed (which controls wheel spin) and the vehicle target speed are calculated continually from data received from the individual wheel speed sensors, the acceleration sensor, the master brake pressure sensor, the stop switch and the speed selector switch. A constant speed is maintained by increasing or decreasing engine power and by the selective application of the brakes on each wheel to ensure that wheel speeds and the target vehicle speed are always synchronised. The CRAWL function will disengage if the vehicle speed rises above 10 km/h.
Pre-Crash safety system
The Land Cruiser 200 is fitted with a Pre-Crash safety system for the front seatbelts. This system is interlocked with the braking system and the Vehicle Stability Control. When the VSC senses that the vehicle is approaching a spin or when a severe oversteer condition is sensed or when there is a severe brake application, the VSC CPU sends a signal to the Pre-Crash system that causes the driver and front passenger seatbelts to be automatically tightened to limit injuries on impact by applying a higher degree of restraint through the seatbelts.
Coil springs replace the traditional torsion bar set up for the front suspension of the new Land Cruiser 200. This change contributes to improved comfort and ride characteristics with improved steering feel. With the change to coil springs comes an increase in suspension travel from 200 mm to 230 mm for improved off-road traction.
At the rear the well proven 4-link coil system is retained but this has been further developed with revised suspension geometry for improved ride comfort and handling. Off road performance is also improved. Rear suspension travel is 240 mm.
The new Land Cruiser sees the introduction of KDSS (Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System) a newly developed world first in suspension technology for Toyota. KDSS acts to improve both driving safety and comfort to suppress vehicle roll for excellent on-road handling performance. In off-road driving conditions the system assists in achieving excellent wheel articulation for improved traction over rough terrain.
With KDSS the effect of the front and rear stabilisers is continually optimised by an interaction between the two through a hydraulic system. When vehicle roll occurs the hydraulic pressure at the front and rear is equalised and the stabilisers act in a normal manner to suppress the roll action.
When the wheels on one side are raised the hydraulic cylinders on the front and rear suspensions stroke in opposite directions. As a result the stabilisers are freed up allowing for a more level ride and superb stability in off-road driving conditions.
With its full complement of electronic driver and safety aids the new Land Cruiser 200 sets new standards for vehicle control in its class.