In January 1998, the 100 series Land Cruiser was introduced to replace the 8-year-old 80 series. The 100 series was previewed in October 1997 as the "Grand Cruiser" at the 32nd Tokyo Motor Show.
There are two distinct versions of the 100-series, the 100 and the 105. The two versions look very similar, but there are significant differences under the bodywork. Despite these differences and official model names, both the 100 and 105 are collectively known as the 100 series. The 105 carried over the majority of its chassis and powertrain from the 80-series with coil suspended solid axles front and rear, and straight-6 petrol and diesel engines. These models were only sold in African, Australian, Russian and South American markets.
Although the 100 and 105 bodies are identical, there are some exterior visual indications between the two. The most obvious is the front end of the vehicle often appearing lower than the rear on the 100 models, due to the IFS. The other indicator is the design of the wheels. The 100 models have almost flat wheel designs, while he 105 models have dished wheels. This difference allows the two versions to retain similar wheel tracks, even though the 100 has a significantly wider axle track to allow for the IFS system.
The introduction of a V8 engine was also a first for a Land Cruiser, and was specifically intended to improve sales in the North-American market, where it was the only engine available. In Australia, the 100 V8 was initially only available in the range-topping GXV model, while entry and mid-range models were the 105 powered by the 1FZ-FE I6 petrol, or 1Hz diesel engines.