You can forget about LandCruiser Prado, FJ Cruiser and 300 Series Toyota LandCruiser for sheer off-road capability. What you need is a Toyota Mega Cruiser. An example has just popped up for sale in Japan.
Once again, thanks to our friends over at Nippon2U, we’re able to see an example is going under the hammer at one of Japan’s big auction events. It’s a black, 1997 model with just 28,388km showing on the clock.
According to Nippon2U the listing is rated 3, which is considered as having some general wear and tear and even some minor damage. The vehicle appears to be in reasonable condition though, just looking at the photos.
The Toyota Mega Cruiser was launched in 1995 as a heavy-duty SUV, primarily designed for military use. It was available in Japan only and through its Toyota Store locations. Obviously inspired by the original Hummer, it was employed by police departments, the Japan Auto Federation, and defence forces.
Apparently just 133 examples were sold to the general public, making this example extremely rare. However, around 3000 examples were reportedly built between 1995 and 2001. Even still, it’s a rare vehicle.
Measuring in at 5090mm long, 2170mm wide, and 2075mm tall, riding on a 3395mm wheelbase, the Mega Cruiser is larger than the current 300 Series LandCruiser. And at 2850kg, it is also much heavier, but then, it does come with lots of heavy-duty hardware.
Power comes from a 4.1-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder (yep, four cylinders), producing around 114kW and 382Nm. As you can probably imagine, especially being a Toyota, the engine was developed with ultimate reliability in mind rather than performance.
The engine is matched to a four-speed auto built by Aisin-Warner (Aisin is partly owned by Toyota), feeding into lockable front, centre and rear differentials. It also features four-wheel steering to help the big beast navigate tighter, technical conditions, and a central tyre pressure system.
You can just imagine how far into the bush you could explore with this thing. Look at that ground clearance, and the awesome approach and departure angles. It even has a ladder so you can climb up to the roof and check out where to go next.
Interested? Head over to the Nippon2U Facebook page to enquire. You ought to get in quick though as it will probably sell fast. The listing starts at 13,000,000 yen (around AU$138,000).