2024 Toyota Prado three-door ‘shorty’ imagined

2024 Toyota Prado three-door ‘shorty’ imagined
2024 Toyota Prado three-door ‘shorty’ imagined

The return of a short-wheelbase LandCruiser Prado could compete against the Land Rover Defender 90, and also be the spiritual successor to the much-loved FJ Cruiser.

The next-generation Toyota LandCruiser Prado seven-seat wagon – which is due to arrive in Australia by the middle of 2024 – has sparked speculation about what a short-wheelbase three-door version might look like.

And with the help of Photoshop guru Theophilus Chin (Theottle), we’ve now got a better idea thanks to these computer-generated images.

With it’s boxy shape and retro-inspired design, our imagination has been running wild with what else the next-generation Prado might have in store for us.

First, it was the Prado Ute. But now, we are thinking about the possible triumphant return of the short-wheelbase Prado variant.

While the short-wheelbase variant has always been part of the LandCruiser Prado story, the most recent 150 Series Prado was available as a three-door between the years of 2009 and 2013.

Available only with the 127kW/410Nm 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine and five-speed automatic gearbox, the short-wheelbase variant LandCruiser Prado had the unusual advantage of an increased braked towing capacity over the more popular five-door model (3000kg vs 2500kg).

However, Toyota’s prediction of the short-wheelbase Prado appealing for Grey Nomads and as tow rigs didn’t work out, and sales numbers were modest over the years.

On the flip side of that, examples of the KDJ155R Prado (which had its wheelbase trimmed from 2790mm to 2455mm) are now quite rare and hold their value exceptionally well.

Fast foward to the present day, and the 2024 LandCruiser Prado 250 Series will use Toyota’s TNGA-F platform. This sounds fancy and modern, but it is still a classic ladder chassis for body-on-frame vehicles, and there lends itself to shorter and longer wheelbase applications due to it’s relative simplicity.

So far, the 2850mm wheelbase of the LandCruiser 300 Series and Prado 250 Series are as short as it gets. On the other side, it grows to as long as 4179mm for the Toyota Tundra Double Cab with the optional ‘Long Bed’.

However, the appeal of developing a short-wheelbase Prado grows when you consider the popularity of the FJ Cruiser.

With retro-inspired styling draped over the same platform as the LandCruiser Prado, the FJ Cruiser was a popular seller between the years of 2011 and 2016, despite being available only with the unleaded-guzzling 4.0-litre V6 and being exponentially less practical than a regular Prado.

Now that the regular Prado is set up pick up a heritage-style scripted grille and the option round headlights, there perhaps isn’t enough room for a separate FJ Cruiser model on it’s own.

But a short-wheelbase Prado could kill two birds with one stone, and give Australian buyers something short, sweet and squared-off.

The post 2024 Toyota Prado three-door ‘shorty’ imagined appeared first on Drive.

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