Surefooted Workaholic Tamed For Civilian Duty 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser - Click above for high-res image gallery An ox is a domesticated bovine whose primary purpose is to pull heavy loads. Tipping the scales at more than a ton, the hefty animals are not considered quick workers, especially when compared to horses, but they're steadfast in their actions and respond well to trained commands. Rarely spooked or unsettled, oxen deliver a long, dependable and rather unassuming service life. Toyota's Land Cruiser is the ox's four-wheeled equivalent. While the full-size sport utility vehicle is one of the automaker's slowest-selling vehicles on U.S. shores – and one of its most expensive – those who've owned one tend to become very loyal fans. We recently spent a week with the current "200 Series," the latest generation of the venerable 'ute that has been in production since the 1950s. What has given the Land Cruiser such longevity and how does it compare to the Lexus LX570, its nearly identical twin? Most importantly, did we become loyal Land Cruiser devotees in the process? The Land Cruiser is as legendary as John Wayne. The off-roader traces its roots back to 1951, when Toyota Motor Corporation built itself a rival to the rugged, war-proven U.S. Jeep and British Land Rover. The Japanese automaker called its vehicle the "Jeep BJ." After proving itself by driving up to the sixth-stage of Mount Fuji – no other vehicle had ever accomplished the task – the country's National Police Agency ordered 289 copies. In 1954, Hanji Umehara came up with the famed "Land Cruiser" name. Early BJ and FJ models were followed by numerous generations of Land Cruisers, which each bore a numerical series name (Model 20, 30 Series, 40 Series, 55 Series, 60 Series, 70 Series, 80 Series, 90 Series, 100 Series and 120 Series, which ended production in 2007). In 2008, Toyota introduced the all-new 200 Series, based on a heavily modified Toyota Tundra chassis. While other countries are offered a bevy of engine options, including turbodiesel configurations, the eight-passenger truck is loaded with features and positioned as a flagship in the U.S. where it's sold as the Land Cruiser and also re-badged as the Lexus LX570. The current Series 200 debuted to intense scrutiny from loyalists, which was expected. While Toyota fitted it with a more substantial brake system and addressed front suspension issues that had plagued its predecessors, many felt the styling was far too conservative. Nevertheless, the vehicle was as rugged as ever, easily capable of leading the competitive Land Rover Range Rover through the harshest of off-road environments. It's that same durability that continues to make the Land Cruiser the vehicle of choice for NATO and armed forces around the globe. Not to mention the baddies they're battling. At the heart of the Land Cruiser is a burly 5.7-liter V8 (3UR-FE), which is also shared with the Toyota Tundra, Toyota Sequoia and Lexus LX570. With an all-aluminum construction, the 32-valve powerplant develops 381 horsepower at …
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|MPG||13 City / 18 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||381 @ 5600 rpm|
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