|The Land Cruiser with a gasoline engine is about 20 percent more fuel-efficient than the previous model, according to Toyota. (Photo from Integrity Exports)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] Toyota Motor Corp. on Monday launched a new Land Cruiser sport utility vehicle, fully redesigning the popular vehicle for the first time in 14 years to achieve improved car security and a better driving experience under bad road conditions, Kyodo reported.
Toyota has installed a fingerprint identification system for the first time for any of its vehicles as part of its measures to prevent car theft, with earlier models of the Land Cruiser particularly targeted by thieves as it attracts high prices as a secondhand car. Thieves targeting the popular car often ship stolen vehicles overseas. The engine doesn’t start unless the driver's fingerprint matches one of those pre-registered, according to the automaker. The new Land Cruiser, with either a gasoline or diesel engine, carries a suggested retail price tag of 5.1 million yen ($46,500).
With demand high already, the delivery time for purchases made now is expected to be at least a year, Toyota said. The Land Cruiser has auto-control functions for the engine, brakes, and suspension, enabling the vehicle to avoid wheel spins and losing speed even when driving on the sand or in the snow. So far, more than 10 million units of the Land Cruiser models have been sold in 170 countries and regions.