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Cruiser 70 gets V6 Hilux power

2009-10-09 07:53
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Toyota
Model Land Cruiser
Engine 4.0 V6
Power 170kW
Torque 360Nm
Transmission Five-speed manual
Toyota has shored up its utilitarian (or is that unbreakable?) Land-Cruiser 70 range with a host of safety features and newfangled V6 power.

Since its launch (well, locally, anyhow) back in 2007, the Cruiser 70 has been keenly received by those customers who work (or play) in the most forbidding off-road conditions imaginable.

Featuring solid axles front and rear (with coils at the front wheel corners and leaf springs aft), augmented by dual axle lockers, traction security in severely broken terrain, even when cross-axled, is nearly fail-safe in these Cruiser 70 models.

This the new fascia of the Land Cruiser bakkie. We're not quite sure how fanatical Cruiser bakkie owners will fee about their Kalahari Ferrari's three-spoke steering wheel being replaced by a fat four-spoke item. Airbags a very welcome addition though...

Airbags onboard

The only issues since the introduction of the Cruiser 70, really, has been cabin comfort (the lack of) and the absence of both ABS modulated brakes and airbags. The absence of those latter two features seriously debiting Cruiser 70's on-road safety suite.

Toyota has now addressed these qualms with the introduction of both driver and passenger front airbags on both the bakkie and wagon models.

The driver’s airbag is housed in a new oversized four-spoke steering wheel (borrowed from the Cruiser 200), which is buoyed by being telescopically adjustable too.

Introduction of dual airbags into the Cruiser 70 cabin mean it now bests Land Rover’s Defender in the safety stakes. Landy fans will take point with the lack of ABS modulated brakes on the Cruiser though, something which Defender has…

To prevent the airbag sensors from triggering during negligible frontal impacts (especially when off-roading and hitting the occasional tree or dune base) the front bumper has been extended by 136mm. Toyota has not specified what impact this has brought to bear on the Cruiser 70’s approach angle.

Beyond the airbags, cabin comfort and convenience is further enhanced by a new TNS510 navigation/audio system featuring auxiliary connectivity (streaming MP3s), Bluetooth synchronicity and USB connectivity on the wagon.

Both five-door and bakkie models benefit from a new instrument binnacle housing slightly more contemporary engine- and road-speed dials…

Wagon cabin features much improved infotainment.

Dune raider now a V6?

Mechanically the major running change is the migration of Hilux’s 4l V6 into the Cruiser bakkie’s engine bay.

For Land Cruiser purists the phasing out of the venerable FZ-series in-line six in favour of a slightly detuned, Hilux sourced, 1GR-FE unit must be a particularly poignant moment in the brand's history.

In terms of output the new V6 petrol engine is more powerful by 8kW over the 4.5l in-line six it replaces (producing 170kW), whilst in terms of maximum rotational force it's 24Nm weaker, peaking at 360Nm.

Engine architecture differs too. The new V6 features a slightly undersquare bore and stroke ratio, whilst the 4.5l EFI engine was oversquare. Both engines feature identical 95mm stoke depths, so engine-speed pick-up characteristics (which endeared the 4.5 EFI engine as a dune climber of note) should not alter significantly with the new Hilux engine.

The diesel models still make do with the ancient, though indestructible, naturally aspirated 4.2l in-line six.

All these new features have heralded differentiating nomenclature changes for the Land Cruiser 70 range too, with the bakkie now referred to as a Series 79 and the wagon Series 76.


Bakkie 4.0 V6   R373 400
Bakkie 4.2 D     R398 400
Wagon 4.2 D   R449 500


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