The 70 Series is a family of Toyota Land Cruiser models produced from 1984 until the present day. It replaced the 25-year-old 40 Series as the off-road workhorse of the Land Cruiser heritage, while the 60 Series (and later the 80, 90, 100, 120, 150 and 200 Series) developed into more comfortable passenger off-road vehicles. Despite major changes in styling and numerous technological updates, the 70 Series was designed to retain the off-road capabilities and durability for which the 40 Series had become known. The 70 Series was marketed throughout the world, except for countries like India, USA, Mexico, Brazil and Korea. As a celebration of the Land Cruiser 70's 30th anniversary, Toyota temporarily marketed the Land Cruiser 70 series in the Japanese market for 12 months.
Originally, model numbers 70 through 74 referred to the two-door short- and medium-wheelbase versions. These were the successors of the 40 Series, such as the FJ40. Model numbers 75 through 77 referred to the long-wheelbase version, which was available in pick-up and two-door troop carrier models and, in a few markets, a four-door wagon. These were the successors of the less-well known long-wheelbase 40 Series, such as the FJ45. In 1999, Toyota introduced several updates and changed the model designations, where the long-wheelbase models became the 78 (troop carrier) and 79 (pick-up). In 2007, the 76 (four-door wagon) was added, while the new dual-cab models also share the 79 model designation (essentially the same chassis). Short-wheelbase models are only in production today for a few select markets.
As with all Land Cruisers, the letters at the beginning of the model number designate the engine of the vehicle. Common engines in the 70 series include the 3F petrol engine (e.g., the FJ70), the 22R petrol engine (e.g. the RJ70 Bundera), the 2H diesel engine (e.g., the HJ75), the 1FZ petrol engine (e.g., the FZJ79), the 1HZ diesel engine (e.g., the HZJ78), the 1HD diesel engine (e.g. the HDJ78), and most recently, the 1VD diesel engine (e.g., the VDJ76). For a while (1987 until at least 1990) the BJ73 hardtop was available in the Italian and Spanish market with a VM five-cylinder HR588 2.5-litre turbodiesel—the "B" prefix was applied because the first four-cylinder diesel 70 series came with the 3B.
1984–1999: The 70 / 75 series Toyota Land Cruiser took over from the 40 / 45 series of workhorse four-wheel drives in 1984. The styling maintained a family resemblance to the 40 / 45 series but became more angular. The 70 / 71 series was the short-wheelbase (SWB), the 73 / 74 was the medium-wheelbase (MWB) and the 75 / 77 was the long-wheelbase (LWB). The latter came as cab-chassis/utility with a "panelled" tray (pick-up), and "troop carrier" hard-top (HT). Toyota also manufactured lighter duty versions that shared the 70 Series designation from 1985 to 1996, and were marketed in various parts of the world initially as the Bundera, or Land Cruiser II and later as the Prado. Of these, the Prado name stuck, and each modification took it further from its 70 Series roots. Starting in 1997 the Prado was known as the 90 Series, and had become a light-duty passenger 4x4 with no relation to the 70 Series.
1999: The pick-up version was designated the 79 series, the Troop Carrier became the 78 series, and the short-wheelbase version was phased out in most markets. The principal mechanical changes were: coil sprung (instead of leaf sprung) live front axle; longer rear leaf springs; 5-bolt wheels instead of 6-bolt wheels; redesigned steering wheel; redesigned front indicators; and, in the cab-chassis, a longer wheelbase, which increased the rear storage capacity.
2007: The facelifted 70 Series began production in January for market release in late February / early March 2007. Changes involve significant modifications to the front end design, eliminating the trademark flat fenders featured on all commercial Land Cruiser series' since the 40 series. This change along with a wider front axle/track and wider chassis were required to allow fitment of the new Euro-4 compliant 4.5L V8 turbo diesel, the 1VD-FTV. This engine was initially just for the Australian market, where it was the only engine available. Africa and other markets continued with straight-6 petrol and 1HZ diesel engines. In order to fill the hole left by the elimination of lower-specification models in the 100-series and 200-series ranges, a 4-door wagon variant (The 76 series) was introduced alongside the long-running cab-chassis (79 series) and Troop Carrier (78 series) bodies. For the first time a higher GXL specification level was also introduced in some markets for the cab-chassis and wagon variants. This specification level added numerous additional comfort and safety features never previously seen on commercial series Land Cruisers. In 2007 they were made in Venezuela the 50th anniversary version, came with bumper, gasoline bottle, rear blockers, winch, stirrups. Only 300 were made.
2009: Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez threatened to expropriate Toyota's plants in that country if Toyota and other car makers refused to share their technology with local businesses and meet certain quotas. The 70 series Land Cruiser is used throughout Venezuela for the transportation community, the police, and the National Guard of Venezuela.
2009: The 1FZ/1FZ-E engine was replaced by the 4.0L 1GR-FE in the markets where petrol-powered versions are available, such as Bolivia, Colombia and the Middle East.
2012: Toyota introduced a double-cabin HZJ79 pickup body type, combining the longer 3180 mm wheelbase of the previous two-door pickup with the four doors and single, 130-litre fuel tank of the wagon body types.
2014: Toyota introduced the 4-door wagon GRJ76 and double-cabin GRJ79 pickup body in the Japan market as a limited-edition '30th Anniversary' Series 70. This model came with the 1GR-FE V6 petrol engine and 5 speed manual transmission. This model is on limited sale in Japan only until June 2015 when Japanese law requires all new vehicles to come with Vehicle Skid Control – which the 70 Series does not have.
2015: The Land Cruiser 70 will be produced by Salvador Caetano in Ovar, Portugal in an updated version from mid 2015 onwards for export to the African market, Morocco in particular. However, the model won't be reintroduced to the European market because its engines are not emissions-certified in Europe. This is in spite of the 1VD-FTE being available for the Land Cruiser 200 in a twin-turbo version. The Portuguese-built Land Cruisers have a 231 PS (170 kW) engine and a five-speed manual, and production initially consisted of a five-door station wagon and a double-cab pickup.
Square-bodied Land Cruiser utility 4x4. Two or four doors with steel doors and top, slanted windshield. The front-clip styling remains much like that of the 40 Series. The grille can be mesh or can consist of three horizontal bars.
Both have three additional horizontal slots in a single line under the grille. Front turn signals are square with triangular white lens elements underneath, and are affixed to the vertical edge of the front clip above the fenders and just outboard of each headlight. The top can be hard or soft. The doors are hard, with roll-up windows. Taillights are long, vertical rectangles inset low into the rear bodywork. Rear doors are paired swing-out 'barn doors'. Windshields of some military versions will fold atop hood. It is available in many forms, including a four-door semi-long (J77V → J76V), a pickup (J75P → J79P), and long-wheelbase utility wagon (J75V → J77V / J78V).
With the exception of a few light-duty models that evolved into the Prado, all 70 Series Land Cruisers have solid leaf-sprung rear axles. Solid front axles were leaf-sprung until 1998, when Toyota decided in favor of a coil spring front suspension with leading arms, and a slightly lighter front axle. Also beginning in 1999 the rear leaf springs were extended to allow for greater wheel travel (articulation) and increased ride comfort.
Most 70 Series Land Cruisers (both petrol and diesel models) use inline six-cylinder engines. The exceptions are the V8 diesel 1VD-FTV engine introduced in some markets in 2007 and the V6 petrol 1GR-FE introduced in 2009, with the last straight-6 available being the diesel 1HZ for markets with less stringent emission rules such as Africa and Bolivia. Regardless of the engine, a 5-speed manual transmission delivers power to a part-time four-wheel-drive transfer case with high and low range. The solid front axles are a full-floating design with manual locking hubs. The solid rear axles are available in semi-floating and full-floating variations. Selectable locking differentials (front and rear) are factory options in some markets.
Basic comfort features such as air-conditioning and radio are available, but the 70 Series lacks many of the refined and luxury features of the more expensive passenger Land Cruisers (80, 90, 100, and 200 Series).
The suspension, interior and basic layout of these models are nearly identical to the more famous longer wheelbase 75 series Land Cruisers, but the frame and body is much shorter. This allows the Land Cruiser to be more nimble off road. This model was popular as a personal off road transport, but because the Land Cruiser was marketed almost exclusively as a commercial and government vehicle and because these were never sold in the largest auto market in the world, the US, few were built, compared to other Land Cruiser models.
However, these models were sold all over the world in the 1980s and early 1990s. They can be found in Japan, Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand and South America. The short-wheelbase models are not quite as common in Australia, but they are very popular in the homeland of Japan, where compactness and rugged 4X4 are a welcome combination; they are also used by the Syrian state. Today, few short-wheelbase 70 series can be purchased new—some are still in production today in some select South American countries and is still being produced by Toyota Auto Body at the Yoshiwara Plant in Toyota City.
The 70 series was only sold in small numbers in the North American market. For 1984–1987 (model years 1985–1987), the BJ70 was sold in small numbers in Canada. All were identically equipped, aside from interior, and exterior colour. The only other variation was, in 1985 they had a 12-volt electronic system. Starting from late-1985 production (for the 1986 model year), Toyota opted for a 24-volt system. The HZJ79 cab and chassis is still available in Canada, although in very limited quantities. Further restrictions are that they are only accessible to the mining industry, and only through one Toyota dealer in Saskatchewan. The 70 series was not sold in the USA.
In 1999, UK-based engineering company Jankel entered into a collaborative venture with the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau of Jordan ("KADDB"). The Jordan Light Vehicle Manufacturing (JLVM) joint-venture was an initial 10,000 square metres (110,000 sq ft) motor vehicle factory, to enable Jankel to reduce the cost of manufacture of its UK-engineered protective and light-combat vehicles. Soon after opening JLVM, Jankel began creating various up-armoured versions of the Land Cruiser 79 long wheel base vehicle, and in 2000 secured a contract with the United Nations to provide protected versions of the Land Cruiser 79.
In 2000, Jankel began designing a Long Range Patrol Vehicle (LRPV) to provide a capable and reliable patrolling platform. The Land Cruiser 79 chassis base was chosen as it is: common in most countries worldwide; not overly reliant on electronic management systems; mechanical components are of a basic design, enabling field repairs with standard automotive parts; a high-chassis weight loading capability; resulting in a vehicle which could be sustained in-field over long periods in remote areas, with limited or no support. Designed for patrol missions, internal security, reconnaissance and border patrol forces, it was field tested in the UK and Jordan, and first produced from 2005. The Al-Thalab can in base form accommodate up to four crew members, 1,700 kilograms (3,700 lb) of equipment, and comes equipped with three firing bases, two base stations for radios and various power take-offs. There are options for: two stretchers in the rear for medical evacuation; medium range (1,500 kilometres (930 mi)) and commando variants. Inspected in 2002 by QinetiQ, it was subsequently approved for sale to the UK Government. In 2004 the Jordanian Army made its first order, taking initial deliveries from 2006, and now has over 200 units. The Armed Forces of Mauritania have been operating Al-Thalab LRPV since 2006. In 2016 British special forces were seen using the Al-Thalab in Syria.
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