The 70 Series Toyota Land Cruiser hasn’t changed much in the 35 years it’s been on sale. Once available more or less worldwide, nowadays it’s only sold in parts of Africa, South America and the Middle East, where emissions and safety regulations aren’t quite as strict as they are in Europe and the US.
And that’s a shame, because the ‘new’ Land Cruiser Namib – a South African special edition named for the world’s largest deserts – looks totally brilliant, don’t you think?
The double-cab pick-up has a 4.5-litre V8 diesel engine making 202bhp and 430Nm from basically idle. Power is of course sent to all four wheels – 16in alloys shod with knobbly Cooper Discoverer tyres – through a 5spd manual gearbox with low-range. The suspension has been upgraded by a local specialist, too.
Looks suitably rugged thanks to LED spotlights, a heavy-duty front bumper with headlight protectors and a snorkel for wading, doesn’t it? Inside things couldn’t be more utilitarian.
Well, they could be if Toyota hadn’t bothered with the token touchscreen. Shiny, scratchy plastics mask clever features – a cooled glovebox, special seat covers with re-enforced bolsters and a special overhead console with LED lights and storage for a two-way radio.
STORY Tom Harrison