Friday, June 19, 2009

Toyota's Land Cruiser On Indian Roads

Toyota launched the full-size, heavy duty Land Cruiser V8 in India today. It is Toyota's first V8 diesel on sale here.The Land Cruiser Prado has been on sale in India for some time, but it was available only with a 4.4-litre petrol engine.

There are two variant available, both will come with no less than ten airbags. Priced at Rs 83.1 lakh (ex-showroom Thane) for the fullly-specced version that features a 6-disc DVD player, 14-speaker audio system from JBL, 4-zone climate control with 28 vents. There is also a lower spec variant priced at Rs 81.64 lakh.

The Land Cruiser has a ladder-frame chassis rather than the monocoque construction that modern SUVs have increasingly turned to. Toyota claims this to be an affirmation of the Land Cruiser’s genuine off-road credentials, and it also makes it far easier to repair in those parts of the world without access to laser-aligned body-shop rigs. This in many ways makes up for its relatively higher price tag compared to the luxury "soft-roaders" like the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Mercedes M-Class.

Powering the 2,555kg Cruiser is a 4.5-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel. The engine is fitted with low-intertia turbochargers and common-rail injection to deliver a peak power output of 282bhp and a massive 66kgm of torque, available from just 1600rpm. Drive is supplied to all four wheels via a standard-fit six-speed automatic gearbox (with the option of manual override) plus a torque-sensing centre differential that can smoothly vary the amount of torque between the front and rear axles to promote stability.

The difference can be locked, and low-range gears selected, via switches on the dashboard. The Land Cruiser uses conventional steel springs, but hydraulically charged shock absorbers allow the ride height to be varied by up to 100mm and also give three-stage variable damping.

Because of its legendary reliability, it’s the preffered mode of transport in places as diverse as the Australian outback, remote parts of Africa and the high-streets of London, so it should have no problems coping with our conditions.

Specifications of Toyota Land Cruiser:

1. Price: Rs 81.64 lakhs to Rs 83.1 lakhs
2. Engine: 4461cc, V-8 diesel
3. Max Power: 282bhp at 3600rpm
4. Max Torque: 66.2kgm at 1600rpm
5. Valve gear: 4 per cylinder
6. Front Suspension: Double Wishbone
7. Rear Suspension: 4-link coil with lateral rod
8. Steering: Rack and Pinion
9. Brakes (front): 340 x 32mm, ventilated discs
10. Brakes (rear): 345 x 18mm, ventilated discs
11. Wheels: 18-inch alloy
12. Tyres (front): 285/60-R18
13. Tyres (rear): 285/60-R18

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