A newer, larger three-row Toyota Kluger will be launched in the US in mid-2023, sharing its stretched platform with the upcoming Lexus TX
The Toyota Grand Highlander – possibly called the Grand Kluger in Australia – will enter production early next year ahead of a mid-2023 launch in the United States.
According to a report in US industry publication Automotive News, the Grand Highlander will be a stretched version of the existing Highlander/Kluger which is available currently in both America and Australia under their respective name badging.
Grand Kluger built in Indiana, alongside Lexus TX and standard Kluger
If you thought the Kluger wasn’t big enough, a Grand Kluger is on the way
The Grand Kluger and related Lexus TX will be produced alongside the current-generation Kluger at the Toyota manufacturing facility in Princeton, Indiana. The Indiana plant is currently being expanded due to a US$803 million investment to grow its production capacity to take in the Grand Kluger and TX.
John Iacono, chairman of the Lexus National Dealer Advisory Council, said that the TX and related Grand Kluger “can’t come fast enough” for American dealers who cannot wait to get the cars on their showroom floors.
The Grand Kluger is likely to be sold in turbo petrol and petrol-electric hybrid forms. The vehicle is expected to be available with Toyota’s new 2.4-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine, currently deployed in the Lexus NX350, plus a V6 petrol-electric hybrid engine in series-parallel hybrid and Grand Kluger Prime plug-in hybrid forms.
The Grand Kluger could be over five metres long
Grand Kluger will give Toyota a Palisade, Telluride rival
The Toyota Corporation is investing plenty of money into making their production lines hybrid and electric friendly for future models.
The Princeton, Indiana plant is currently undergoing an $803 million overhaul to accommodate new additions to the Lexus and Toyota lineups.
By new additions, it seems this will be further investment into making better and more efficient hybrid powertrain technologies.
Toyota is investing significant money into the future of the Kluger
Auto Finance News reports that a further four factories in the US will receive $383 million from the Toyota group to boost the production of hybrid vehicles as demand rises for fuel-efficient vehicles.
Huntsville, Alabama will gain the largest pool of money – $222 million – with the rest of the funds being distributed to factories in Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky.
Hybrid and petrol engines likely for five-metre-plus Grand Kluger
Currently, the Toyota Kluger sold in Australia and in the United States is available with a 3.5-litre V6 engine or a 2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid powertrain.
The 3.5-litre V6 currently produces 218kW of power and 350Nm of torque, while the hybrid 2.5-litre four-cylinder makes 184kW/242Nm.
The new Grand Kluger could be as long as a 300 Series Land Cruiser
But Americans believe the Kluger (Highlander) is not big enough in their country and can’t truly compete with the likes of the Hyundai Palisade or Kia Telluride.
In the US, the Highlander can currently seat up to eight people, while the Australian marketed Kluger can only sit seven, however this could change if and when the Grand Kluger comes to our shores.
Expect a longer length and wheelbase for a roomier cabin, along with either hybrid or full electric power by the time the Toyota Grand Kluger/ Lexus TX arrive in dealerships.
The Grand Kluger will compete with large SUVs such as the Hyundai Palisade
For reference, the current Kluger measures in at 4966mm long, 1930mm wide and 1755mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2850mm.
The Grand Kluger should arrive some six months before the Lexus TX, according to sources who spoke to Automotive News, sometime around the middle of 2023.