Fresh information just emerged regarding the rumored Toyota Land Cruiser Mini. This smallest member of the Land Cruiser family, which has been trademarked as the Land Hopper, will have a surprising but quite interesting engine in Japan: a 1.5-liter turbo hybrid.
The information comes from a report published by Best Car Web, the most popular Japanese scoop website. All of its wild reports have come true recently, including the M4-powered GRMN Supra and potentially the Supra EV, coming to Tokyo as a concept. This means the Toyota Land Hopper should indeed debut with a new type of engine.
Traditionally, Toyota hybrids have been equipped with naturally aspirated engines running on the Atkinson combustion cycle. However, a new trend has emerged, with the full-size 2024 Land Cruiser being equipped with a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid iForce Max powertrain and eight-speed. It makes sense for the smaller 2025 Land Hopper to keep the layout but downsize, and thus use a 1.5-liter turbocharged hybrid.
At this point, no further information is available, but we do actually know about another 1.5-liter turbo hybrid that Toyota is developing. The next generation of the GR86 is rumored to be separated from Subaru and will use a hybrid version of the GR Corolla engine.
So, it’s reasonable to believe that the 2025 Land Hopper will have a 3-cylinder turbo under the hood with an output probably in the region of 250 horsepower. Of course, the Land Hopper may receive other powertrains in some markets, and Best Car believes the 2.4-liter hybrid from the RAV4 is a possibility.
The main issue is the platform. Most Toyota hybrids are built like regular cars, but the Land Hopper is supposed to be based on the big Land Cruiser 300 and 250 models with a shortened wheelbase. The body will be around the length of a Corolla Cross while the styling will echo that of the iconic FJ Cruiser.
A Land Hopper EV is also a strong possibility. It has already been previewed by the Compact Cruiser EV concept in December 2021, much like the Tacoma was previewed by an EV pickup concept. And Toyota has just shown the Hilux Revo BEV, a study based on its popular Thailand-made pickup which uses an e-axle from the bZ4X at the rear and a battery placed within the frame.