Toyota bids adieu to Land Cruiser; Lexus off-roader a possibility – Automotive News

The Toyota Land Cruiser — a global icon for off-roading enthusiasts with a lineage that stretches back to postwar Japan and a small but dedicated customer base — will end its 63-year run in the U.S. after the current model year.

But that doesn’t mean the automaker is ceding the luxury large-SUV space. It’s just that whatever the Land Cruiser’s spiritual successor ends up being, there’s a decent chance it’s going to crawl and climb with a Lexus badge on its grille.

“The Toyota Land Cruiser has been a legendary name for more than 60 years,” Toyota Motor North America said in a statement. “While it will be discontinued in the United States after the 2021 model year, we remain committed to the large-SUV segment and will continue to explore future products that celebrate the Land Cruiser’s rich off-road history. We encourage loyal enthusiasts and intrepid adventurers to stay tuned for future developments.”

The Land Cruiser — developed in Japan in 1951 as a localized answer to the Willys Jeep — is Toyota’s longest-running model line and is inexorably tied to Toyota since its very first days in the U.S. According to Toyota, in its first year in the U.S. in 1958, the company sold 288 Toyota Toyopet sedans and exactly one Land Cruiser.

Sales have ebbed and flowed in the intervening decades in the U.S. as other rugged overlanders have proliferated. The $86,880 starting price (including shipping) of the two- or three-row