Toyota has significantly enhanced performance and driving dynamics in the Land Cruiser for 2006, giving this legendary full-size sport-utility vehicle a more powerful engine and new advanced suspension control options. In addition, the 2006 Land Cruiser gains freshened front and rear styling.
Equipping the Land Cruiser’s 4.7-liter V8 engine with variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and an electronic throttle control system with intelligence (ETCS-i) has increased output from 235 horsepower to 275 horsepower. Torque rises by 12 lb.-ft., to 332 lb.-ft., and the 2006 Land Cruiser achieves Low Emissions Vehicle II (LEV II) status.
Land Cruiser remains one of the most refined and comfortable premium sport utility vehicles. Its wide-ranging capability gets yet a further boost for 2006 with the availability of Adjustable Height Control (AHC), and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which provides greater control and comfort on any road surface. Like all Toyota SUVs, the Land Cruiser comes standard with the STAR SAFETY SYSTEM(TM), which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), traction control (TRAC), an anti-lock brake system (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. (See page three for details.) To this arsenal of technology, Land Cruiser adds a new direct-type tire pressure monitoring system for 2006.
A new grille and headlamps quickly identify the 2006 Land Cruiser, which also features new LED combination lamps and revised styling at the rear. The standard 18-inch aluminum wheels have a new high-gloss finish, and a sporty new rear spoiler is available. "Land Cruiser is simply one of the most capable and comfortable full-size sport-utility vehicles in the market," said Jim Lentz, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. "It combines legendary strength and durability with a high level of sophistication and understated luxury without demanding compromise from the driver."
The Land Cruiser is built on a robust chassis using nine crossmembers set into box-section side rails. The resulting chassis stiffness gives Land Cruiser the ability to handle rugged off-pavement driving conditions and also contributes to its luxuriously smooth on-road ride. The double wishbone independent front suspension and four-link rear axle with coil springs likewise balance smooth on-road driving with the articulation needed for off-pavement driving. The 275/60R18 tires include a full-size spare.
The Land Cruiser’s advanced variable rack-and-pinion steering system can vary the steering ratio to improve maneuverability at low speeds and preserve control at highway speeds. A computer-controlled actuator on the intermediate steering shaft increases the driver’s steering angle at low vehicle speeds, quickening the steering ratio. At higher speeds, the mechanism rotates slightly in the opposite direction of steering input to decrease the total steering angle, resulting in a slower steering ratio desirable for stable handling response.
The system’s operation is transparent to the driver. As a safety measure, it selects a higher steering ratio if the VSC system is activated in a hazardous driving condition. This helps to prevent too large a steering angle if the driver is swerving suddenly, for example. In addition, tooth spacing on the gears of the rack becomes wider toward the end, reducing steering effort at high steering angles.
Advanced New Suspension Options for 2006
The new AVS system provides four positions to control the shock absorber damping force. Position two will suit most driving conditions and will automatically adjust as conditions demand. The driver can manually select Position one to provide softer response on bumpy roads. Positions three and four provide increasingly greater levels of control for driving a heavily loaded vehicle, driving at higher speeds on paved roads or driving on unpaved roads.
When the driver shifts the two-speed transfer case into "Low" for traversing difficult off-pavement terrain, the AVS system automatically selects the suitable damping setting.
The Land Cruiser provides a minimum ground clearance of 9.8 inches. The new AHC system allows the driver to raise the vehicle on its suspension to negotiate particularly rough off-road terrain, and to lower it for easy entry and exit. A height-control switch and light indicate current suspension height and will recommend optimal height as road conditions change.
If set in "high" mode, the suspension will automatically lower when the vehicle exceeds about 19 mph, a more-than-adequate speed for rigorous off-pavement driving conditions. In addition, switching to high mode increases the angle of approach from 30 to 32 degrees and the angle of departure from 23 to 26 degrees to help the vehicle get around obstacles. The vehicle will go into "extra high" mode if it is in low range and traveling over rough terrain, with the height rising automatically by 1.2 inches at the front and approximately 1.8 inches in the rear.
Advanced Four-Wheel Drive and the STAR SAFETY SYSTEM(TM)
In Land Cruiser, the full-time four-wheel drive system divides the power evenly between front and rear wheels and works in conjunction with TRAC to handle rough going, on- or off-pavement. Pushing a button on the console locks the center differential, allowing the Land Cruiser to traverse especially rough or slippery surfaces. The driver can shift into low range to handle steep off-road inclines. Steel skid plates protect the front suspension, transfer case, and fuel tank when driving over rough terrain.
The STAR SAFETY SYSTEM? includes VSC, TRAC and ABS with EBD and Brake Assist helps provide optimal vehicle control. The four-wheel ABS operates even in low-range four-wheel drive. As road surface roughness increases, ABS intervention decreases. The system responds to steep slopes, as well, preventing early activation to allow the driver greater control.
The EBD feature optimizes brake pressure at each wheel for greater control under braking, especially when cornering. The Brake Assist safety system is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking. If the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage the ABS, the system supplements the applied braking power until pedal pressure is released.
The VSC system helps maintain directional control during cornering by manipulating engine torque and individual wheel-braking influence when it detects tire slippage. The integrated TRAC feature helps reduce tire slippage during acceleration.
Land Cruiser provides a high level of passive safety technology. Airbag sensors accompany dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags and available front and second-row side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor and cutoff switch. A backup camera, available in conjunction with the optional navigation system, helps provide the driver with a view of what’s behind the vehicle, automatically projecting the image on the system’s seven-inch LCD screen when reverse gear is engaged.
Civilized Comfort Even Over The Roughest Terrain
The vehicle that has conquered uncivilized terrain in 150 countries delivers highly civilized features today. Land Cruiser comes equipped with all the amenities expected in a premium SUV, comforting occupants with such features as power-adjustable and heated front seats and independent rear automatic climate control systems.
Standard equipment also includes a leather-trimmed interior, a power moonroof with one-touch control, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with integrated audio controls, and rear seat audio. The front seats feature armrests, and the rear seat bottom has a height-adjustable cushion.
The optional navigation system integrates Bluetooth® technology, which enables a hands-free communication system. Select cellular phones with built-in Bluetooth® compatibility allow the driver and passengers to make and receive hands-free calls. A call can be dialed by using the navigation screen’s keypad, while incoming calls can be answered and ended by pushing a button located on the steering wheel. When a call is received, the stereo is automatically muted so the driver does not need to fumble with radio controls. The Land Cruiser’s audio system speakers act as the phone receiver and transmitter.
For all its rugged capability, the Land Cruiser remains an extremely civilized highway vehicle. Asphalt sheeting used throughout the cabin structure helps to ensure low noise levels, making it easier to appreciate the quality of the standard JBL Premium sound system. The 3-in-1 AM/FM/ETR/cassette/CD audio system includes an in-dash six-disc CD changer, produces a maximum output of 300 watts and plays through seven speakers.
The elegant dashboard design is highlighted by metallic-style trim on the center cluster. An optional multi-function navigation system package moves the six-disc CD changer to the console and adds a DVD head unit that accommodates both map discs and DVD movies (movies play only when the gearshift is in the Park position). The seven-inch LCD screen displays navigation functions and controls for both the audio and climate control systems. An optional rear DVD entertainment system plays movies over a 6.4-inch wide-format overhead screen that flips down from the headliner above the second seat row.
In addition to the major comfort features, Land Cruiser provides a host of standard conveniences, including steering wheel audio controls, one-touch up/down power windows with jam protection, power door locks, a multi-information display, a HomeLink® universal remote garage door opener, heated exterior mirrors, automatic on/off headlamps with daytime running lights, cruise control, three 12-volt power outlets, and a security system with engine immobilizer.