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Toyota Unveils Land Cruiser Electric Concept, But Production Uncertain

Toyota has just unveiled a groundbreaking concept that might just stay in the realm of dreams rather than on the streets. The Land Cruiser EV concept, showcased at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show, has left EV enthusiasts scratching their heads, wondering if it’s a serious contender or just a premature glimpse into the future.

The Land Cruiser “Se” boasts an angular boat-like appearance, which is a bold departure from the staid design language of conventional SUVs. With its long hood, swooping windshield, and a rounded rear end featuring visor taillights, it’s clear that Toyota is going for a design that screams, “Look at me, I’m electric!” The seven-seater concept also comes with some impressive size specs, including a 120.08-inch wheelbase and a length of 202.76 inches, making it quite the behemoth. It’s wider and shorter than its gas-guzzling cousin, the 2024 Land Cruiser, which seems to hint that it’s compensating for something – perhaps the absence of a massive internal combustion engine.

The generous space between the wheels, we assume, is meant to house a battery pack, and the rest of the design seems fixated on aerodynamics, right down to the digital side view mirror cameras. Toyota claims that the hush of an electric vehicle “creates a comfortable cabin space when driving in urban areas,” a revelation they seem to have just stumbled upon, as if they’ve been living under a petrol-soaked rock for the past decade.

But don’t let the eco-friendly appearance fool you; Toyota assures us that the Land Cruiser Se can handle rough terrain. This revelation is likely to appease die-hard fans of the classic gas-guzzling off-roader, who might be confused when their Uber XL arrives looking like a vehicle designed by a sci-fi enthusiast.

In addition to the Land Cruiser Se, Toyota is also presenting a concept midsize electric pickup truck called the EPU. This truck, designed for outdoor activities, has a cabin that can open up to the deck, as if it’s trying to combine the convenience of a pickup with the openness of a convertible. With a length of 199.61 inches and a width of 75.2 inches, it’s leaner than Rivian’s R1T recreational pickup, which, by the way, is something you can actually buy.

And if you thought Toyota was done surprising us, think again. They have a “Land Hopper” foldable electric trike with leaning front wheels, for those who want to combine the joys of two-wheeled transportation with the stability of three wheels. Additionally, there’s a powered “Juu” wheelchair that can tackle stairs, a feature that seems more appropriate for James Bond’s mobility needs than for everyday use. And for those with aspirations to explore the cosmos, Toyota has a Space Mobility prototype designed to navigate rocky extraterrestrial terrains. This two-seater space ATV tech will be featured in the automaker’s future Lunar Cruiser vehicle – because who wouldn’t want to cruise on the moon?

But wait, there’s more! Toyota also wants you to check out its new Neo Steer cockpit concept, which they believe could “foster greater love for cars and deliver the joy and excitement of mobility for all.” Inspired by motorcycles, it lets you control acceleration and braking with levers, because nothing says “modern” like bringing back controls from the past. Toyota previously also prototyped fake manual transmissions as they tried to make EVs more exciting, but let’s face it, that ship has sailed, and the manual transmission is now a relic of the past.

In the midst of all this electric extravagance, Toyota’s electric Land Cruiser shines as their first realistic look at a large electric family hauler. But it’s a crowded market, and it’s coming late to the party. Hyundai’s EV9 three-row EV is already nearing delivery and is priced in a way that won’t require you to take out a second mortgage. So, all Toyota has to do now is not mess up the EV game and actually deliver on this Land Cruiser concept. We dare you, Toyota, prove us wrong.

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