The 70 Series Land Cruiser departed the United Kingdom many years ago, but over in South Africa, you can wander into a Toyota showroom and drive away in a shiny new one. Not only that, but there’s now a special edition version of the fantastically boxy off-roader.
The double-cab pickup Land Cruiser 79 is dubbed the Namib, named after the desert that stretches up the coasts of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa. The vehicle is intended “to offer customers a ready-to-go vehicle prepared and equipped to tackle the most daunting challenges,” Toyota SA sales and marketing vice president Calvyn Hamman says.
Powered by a 4.5-litre V8 diesel engine producing 202bhp and 317lb ft of torque, The Namib has been fitted with the upgrades it needs to take on the rough stuff straight out of the box. It has 16-inch wheels wearing knobbly Cooper Discoverer S/T Maxx all-terrain tyres, upgraded off-road suspension courtesy of a “respected local off-road suspension expert,” a snorkel, and our favourite bit - a ruddy-great bull bar with LED spotlights.
In the cabin, Toyota has fitted a new roof console complete with rear-facing LED lights, along with new storage bins and a hook for a microphone cord. The seats are fitted with grey canvas covers sporting Namib logos, and to ensure you have a chilled beverage waiting for you after a tricky desert-bashing session, the glovebox is cooled by the air condition system.
Despite being based on a 35-year-old vehicle, the Namib does still have a smattering of more modern accoutrements. There’s a touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, and remote central locking. Its structure inevitably won’t be as crash-worthy as a modern Land Cruiser’s, but you do at least get driver and passenger airbags plus ABS.
The Land Cruiser Namib costs 893,600 rand, which is around £48,600.