Our own 70-Series Troopy camper, which we drove around Australia and Tasmania, then across southern Africa before shipping to the U.S. This week I was doing some extra research on “technicals”—the converted pickups, usually Land Cruisers or Hiluxes, used as mobile gun platforms by insurgents across northern Africa, the Middle East, and the ‘Stans—for the blog on my author page (here). While doing so I chanced upon this site at tanks-encyclopedia.com. It comprises the most comprehensive library of information on Toyota’s 70-Series Land Cruisers I’ve ever seen, anywhere. Additionally there is a huge section featuring both images and video of technicals in action. I’ve not covered a tenth of it yet and I’ve learned things I didn’t know I didn’t know. Highly recommended as a bookmark if you have the slightest interest in the vehicle, whether in its civilian or military role. (If you don’t, you might gain a new respect for it.) This is what happens when you mount an EC90 90mm cannon to a 70-Series pickup, then fire it at 90 degrees. Technicals used as rocket launchers are often lost to fire. It’s not hard to see how.
Toyota has revealed some details of the 2022 Tundra. The biggest news is the deletion of the long-serving V8 engine for a twin-turbocharged V6, following current popular trends in configuration and number of pistons. The top-of-the-line model produces 437 horsepower.Other changes include rear coil suspension on some models—a welcome upgrade and one the Tundra should have had from the beginning.What I haven’t found out is if the Tundra’s sub-par “Triple-Tech” chassis, with open-channel frame members under the bed, has been ditched for a proper boxed chassis as every competitor has. I suspect not, although I still don’t know why the company abandoned boxed chassis in its trucks for a design similar to that found on Fords and Chevys in the 1970s.More news as I uncover it.
Along with the near simultaneous announcements that Toyota would be pulling the Land Cruiser from the U.S. Market while introducing the completely redesigned 300 Series Land Cruiser elsewhere, the company also announced a brand new engine for the updated model. Replacing the existing 4.5-liter, twin-turbo V8 is a 3.3-liter, twin sequential turbo V6. This is Toyota’s first diesel V6.Reflecting the advances in turbodiesel technology, the new engine boasts increased power and torque compared to its significantly larger predecessor—304 horsepower and 516 lb./ft. compared to 268 horsepower and 480 lb./ft.Just as importantly, and contrary to the fears of those who predicted the smaller engine would have a torque peak higher in the RPM range, the 3.3’s curve peaks in more or less exactly the same range as the 4.5, from 1,500 to 2,900 rpm. Note the chart on the right below. The new engine should exhibit significantly decreased turbo lag, thanks both the the sequential turbo configuration (in which one is set up to provide immediate boost while the other takes over higher in the rev range) and the “hot vee” arrangement of the exhaust.In contrast to standard V engine construction, in which the intake manifold sits between the cylinder banks and the exhaust exits under the sides of the V, the hot vee turns everything around, siting the exhaust manifolds between the cylinder banks. This drastically shortens the run from the exhaust ports to the turbos.The 4.5 was known for—depending on your point of view—underwhelming specific power output, or being admirably under-stressed for heavy-duty use. The 3.3 is obviously tuned to a higher level, but much of that might be attributed to the configuration. The 4.5 also had a few problems, at least early on, with disappointing oil consumption (although I only read about this in connection with the single-turbo version in the 70-Series vehicles). I’ve not yet read anything regarding the new engine’s fuel-delivery system—or, more to the point for overland travelers who rightly view the 70-Series vehicles as the ultimate global expedition platforms—whether or not it will be installed in the Troop Carrier and its brethren.