Giant diesel for Land Cruiser
POWER DEAL: Toyota SA has rounded-off its Land Cruiser range with the addition of a whopping 4461cc, V8, intercooled, turbodiesel engine. Image: DAVE FALL
Author: DAVE FALL
Toyota SA has rounded-off its Land Cruiser range with the addition of a whopping 4461cc, V8, intercooled, turbodiesel engine - sharing the launch hoo-hah with the similar introduction of an upgraded FJ Cruiser.
Having proved themselves over and over again as the vehicle of choice when the going gets seriously tough Toyota's Land Cruiser 70 range has now been cappedf - for the time being at least - with this giant mill.
When a vehicle carries the mantle of 'Masters of Africa' - and has done since 1971 when they first arrived in the South African market - I guess they deserve some bragging rights and this latest model does it in some style. With 151kW at 340rpm and 430Nm at only 1200rpm it has the flattest torque curve of all Toyota's current range of engines.
By way of comparison this latest model offers 55kW more power and 145Nm more torque than the non-turbo, indirect-injection, 4.2-litre, straight-six diesel found in other Land Cruisers.
Apparently customer feedback suggested a more powerful engine was needed; listening to them, Toyota decided a lusty new V8 was just what the doctor ordered. Little has changed in the looks department - still the same tough-looking workhorse, if the truth be known, but now sporting a small V8 badge on the tailgate, a hood bulge to accept the water-cooled intercooler and the addition of an external snorkel-type air-cleaning system bolted along the front wing and running high up on the driver's side windscreen frame.
That's it - very few other additional frills needed to make this particular Land Cruiser even more desirable to those who hanker after this type of vehicle... and there's a lot of people out there who swear by them - how else can you account for a waiting list that totals 1242 at last count?
NEW AUDIO/SATNAV UNIT
It was only fair to put this newcomer through its paces on a 4x4 track - it almost seemed a futile exercise in a way because the Land Cruiser's abilities to 'devour' anything thrown at it is legendary. The steepest dirt climbs, the largest potholes and toughest bush tracks were all climbed out of, up and down with aplomb.
Even novice 4x4 motoring hacks like me looked good!
Very little has changed inside the cab, a tweak here and a tweak there with one noticeable exception: the Land Cruiser has definitely moved into the 21st century with the addition of a new audio and navigation system. But someone in the design studio obviously has a sense of humour because the aerial fitted is a throwback to the 1970's: press a button on the dashboard and a chromed five-piece sectioned antenna rises from the mudguard!
Hit the button again and it gently lowers! As a token to modernity, though, there's now a large display screen in the centre of the dash, there's smartphone connectivity and even SMS functionality. Going on a trip to Mozambique (as one does), no problem, it's now mapped - along with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.
All new Land Cruiser 70 models come with Toyota's comprehensive three-year/100 000 km warranty. These models are also supported by the ToyotaCare Roadside Assistance Programme and entitles customers to 24-hour roadside assistance.
*An earlier version of this article contained, due to a misunderstanding after transmission, an earlier version of the Land Cruiser. The error is regretted.
'76' 4.5 V8 Diesel wagon - R587 500
'79' 4.5 V8 Diesel sibngle-cab - R527 000
'79' 4.5 V8 Diesel double-cab - R567 600