Toyota may soon go ahead with a Land Cruiser lite after the Japanese automaker trademarked the Land Hopper name with speculation mounting that it will be a compact version of the recently unveiled off-roader.
At the beginning of August, Toyota submitted an application in Japan for “Land Hopper” which was made public by authorities just over a week later. The automaker made the application of the category encompassing automobiles, motorcycles, and bicycles. Devoted enthusiasts, this discovery was made by a user on the Toyota Land Cruiser Forum and further speculation ensued as to what it could be.
This is all unfounded but during the Land Cruiser presentation recently, images portraying a variety of vehicles could fit the bill. The first option could be a Compact Cruiser or Land Cruiser lite if you will, pictured below. Alternatively, the Land Hopper name could signify the scooter pictured in the middle, Toyota is not a motorcycle manufacturer but the patent was filed for motorcycles and bicycles too. If this is the case it will likely remain a product to remain in the country of its trademark origin as a mobility device: Japan.
Should it be the former, the small SUV featured in the teaser bears a notable resemblance to the Compact Cruiser concept introduced in 2021, during Toyota’s unveiling of various electric vehicle concepts. However, no technical details about this particular model were provided at that time.
Toyota’s Land Cruiser Chief Engineer, Keita Moritsu, had previously mentioned that the company was exploring options for the new SUV, including plug-in hybrid, fuel cell, and full electric versions. Adapting the ladder frame for PHEV or electric powertrains would require modifications. However, the TNGA-F platform is capable of accommodating conventional hybrid powertrains, such as the turbocharged 2,4-liter four-cylinder I-Force Max engine found in the latest Tacoma.
As for the final model teased on the image during the presentation, it seems to be a larger, three-row electrified SUV that Toyota has in the pipeline and intends to commence production by 2025 in the United States of America. Which model would you be most excited to see?