LAND CRUSHING CRUISER: Steve's Auto Clinic has turned its expertise to improve Toyota's Land Cruiser 70 Series. Image: SAC
JOHANNESBURG - Tuning specialists Steve's Auto Clinic (SAC) turned its expertise to Toyota’s Land Cruiser 70 Series.
The three Land Cruiser 70 Series models – the 76 Station Wagon (SW), the 79 Single Cab and the 79 Double Cab – use an engine that delivers 151kW/430Nm.
SAC has been tweaking Toyota products for a number of years and in September 2014 tackled the new Land Cruiser 70 Series to see what improvements could be made to the robust 4x4.
TAKES BETWEEN 1 AND 3 DAYS
The plan was relatively simple, no major modifications required, a quick turnaround time "from one or three days depending on which SAC branch you book your vehicle in at" and reliably improve power and torque.
A used Land Cruiser 76 SW was found at Elite Auto in Vereeniging, Gauteng, it had delivery mileage and was deemed perfect to benefit from a SAC power upgrade.
To start the process the Land Cruiser was sent for road testing and the data returned showed exactly what was initially felt out on the road.
According to SAC: "Although the V8 turbodiesel makes the power and torque claimed, the over two tonne of the vehicle takes its toll on the real world performance data achieved."
The 0-100km/h sprint comes up in a leisurely 15 seconds while the massive SUV took a full 23secs to reach the national speed limit of 120 km/h. This suggested while there might be impressive grunt on tap, trying to overtake or get up to speed in the Land Cruiser was still going to take some work.
25% MORE POWER
The SAC team opted to fit its tried and tested UniChip U-Connect Plug and Play unit. This system comes as a stand-alone product, complete with a wiring harness that plugs directly into the Land Cruiser’s Engine Control Unit (ECU) and can be removed at any time. The upgrade costs R6950.
SAC also decided to fit a 76mm stainless steel bolt on De Graaf performance exhaust system, priced at R6950, to the Land Cruiser which increased the thunder from the V8 it also added extra power.
SAC says the Land Cruiser benefits from around 25% more power and vehicle was sent to the Gerotek testing facility for testing outside Pretoria.
SAC said:"The data that came back was simply mind blowing, the 0-100km/h sprint was now done in a hugely improved 12 seconds, an improvement of 3sec, the 120km/h mark was hit almost 6secs sooner at just under 18secs.
"The acceleration times were also much improved by as much as 3secs in some segments and this all translates in a vehicle that is just so much better to drive and safer to overtake in."
Road Test Results: Standard Land Cruiser vs SAC Toyota Land Cruiser
0-100 km/h: 15.37 secs - 12.08 secs
0-120 km/h: 23.06 secs - 17.78 secs
1km speed: 138.35 km/h - 148.61 km/h
Top speed: 159.84 km/h -164.23 km/h
60-100 km/h: 9.91 secs - 7.48 secs
80-120 km/h: 13.43 secs - 9.74 secs