New Grades, New Choices
The transition from a workhorse to an RV (Recreational Vehicle), the debut of the 60 series changed the general opinion of 4WD vehicles together with the addition of the luxury GX grade. This sales strategy also spread across to the 40 series of this time.
In 1979 a new 3,168cc 2B-type engine was added to the BJ40-series, at which point the BJ40 became the BJ41 and the BJ43 evolved into the BJ44. The 60-series made its appearance the next year in 1980.
Under the supervision of Chief Engineer Hiroshi Ohsawa in 1976 planning began for the next generation of the 50-series Land Cruiser. The first thing that was required was an expansion of the body size. In order to compete in the American market, and against rival vehicles like the Land Rover, something more was needed that went beyond what the FJ55V had to offer. It had to have more of the feel of a passenger car type station wagon, with a softer luxury touch in the interior and a more comfortable ride. The problem was what to do with the suspension. An independent suspension was considered, however this idea was rejected in favor of the existing rigid leaf springs of the FJ55V Land Cruiser, to ensure that it lived up to its name as a vehicle that was highly reliable on whatever road you might take it anywhere in the world.
Eventually Mr. Ohsawa's responsibilities shifted to the 4 Runner 4WD, the job of Chief Engineer for the 60-series Land Cruiser passed to Iichi Shingu, who saw it through to its debut in 1980.
When the Land Cruiser 60 made its debut, in addition to the 2F-type gasoline engine in the FJ60 and the BJ60 was added to the lineup that had a 3,431cc 3B-type diesel engine that was larger than the 2B. Since the FJ55V era, the demand in Japan had increased for a long model diesel-powered vehicle that was inexpensive to maintain, and the 60-series Land Cruiser was created to meet this demand.
A minor change was introduced in 1982. The major feature of this change was the appearance of the HJ60 with a 6-cylinder 3,980cc 2H-type diesel engine. Not only was the engine large, but the HJ60 came with a high-roof body, a 5-speed transmission, electric moon roof, remote control mirrors, and other luxury features. The FJ and BJ evolved from the 60 to the 61-series, and there was a luxury model similar to the HJ added to the BJ61. The first grade ever was created for the Land Cruiser, the GX to distinguish it from the standard model. Moreover, to comply with emissions control regulations, the 3B engine became standard for the entire BJ40-series, and the BJ42 and BJ46 debuted.
In 1984 the first full model change in 29 years (including the 20-series) was made on the 40-series, and the Land Cruiser 70-series was born. At the same time, the 60-series gained a 2H-type engine matched with an A/T, the first for a cross-country type 4x4 in Japan; and the FJ62 debuted with a 6-cylinder 3,955cc 3F-type engine. In addition, the 3F-type engine was made lighter and more compact in an effort to reduce the volume of emissions, while at the same time its output was increased by 15PS to 155PS/4,200rpm, and the engine gained greater fuel efficiency.