For 1998, the all-new Land Cruiser gets a more powerful V8 engine, standard ABS, an increase in structural rigidity, an improved suspension system, increased passenger and cargo room and several new colors.
Back in 1958, Toyota brought a truck named the BJ to U.S. shores, called it a Land Cruiser, and sold it in droves. Now entering its 5th generation, Toyota's popular sport-utility vehicle becomes the first all-new Land Cruiser to be designed since 1991.
The most obvious and most exciting change is the inclusion of a 4.7-liter 32-valve DOHC V8 engine under its hood, making the 1998 Land Cruiser the first Toyota to be powered by a V8. The engine produces 230 horsepower, 18 more than last year's six-cylinder engine, and 320 foot-pounds of torque, an increase of 45 over last year. Toyota executives say that the new Land Cruiser is "larger, stronger and heavier" than the previous generation truck, that it produces low emissions, is more fuel efficient than its predecessor and that safety and luxury options have been added to spruce up the exterior and interior of the vehicle.
The redesigned chassis and suspension resulted in a 50 percent increase in structural rigidity, making the SUV more comfortable, more durable and less noisy. Inside the Land Cruiser, you'll find more room in both length and width, larger door openings, more cup holders, an overhead console featuring three storage compartments and an eyeglass holder/garage door opener compartment, front and rear door pockets and separate compartments for first aid and tool kits.
Other luxury options include power moon roof, leather seats, roof rack, locking differential and a third seat. Stylistically, Toyota has thrown out their old color options save the Black, and is introducing this year's vehicle in Natural White, River Rock Green Metallic, Champagne Pearl, Mahogany Pearl, Desert Bronze, Imperial Jade Mica and Atlantis Blue Mica.
It seems the 1998 Land Cruiser is expanding its reputation as a luxury sport-utility vehicle in all areas, and this year, its got the power to prove it.