They normally say the Toyota Land Cruiser is bulletproof meaning that it is utterly reliable. But now it is also literally bulletproof.
SVI Engineering, specialist manufacturer of armoured products, has recognised the need for a cost-effective vehicle solution to protect the occupants from both ballistic and general riot threats. This where the Toyota Land Cruiser comes into the picture.
The conversion process entails removing the body of the Toyota Land Cruiser 79 and replacing it with a new all-steel body manufactured from armour plate.
The result is the Max 3 – the entry into the MAX family of specialized bullet-resistant vehicles.
The Max 3 is designed as a multi-role vehicle. As a civilian version it has application in mining security, riot control, civil security, anti-poaching and convoy protection.
Max 3 in its military configuration is designed to be air transportable in a C130 and is fitted with weapon mounts for .50 calibre pintle mountings, remote weapon systems and the Scorpion 60 mm and 81 mm mortar systems. The vehicle can also be fitted with customer furnished equipment such as communication systems.
Max 3 is an evolution of the previous version with a focus on improved ergonomics, added interior space and bolder styling. The armoured steel shell is designed and manufactured in-house by SVI.
The armoured construction of the vehicle provides a minimum protection of assault rifles with additional protection against anti-personnel mines.
The vehicle is available as a single cab, double cab and armoured personnel carrier for up to eight people. Although mostly standard, the drivetrain is upgraded with the fitment of rims and tyres with a higher load rating, upgraded suspension and fitment of an additional rear anti-roll bar.
The modular design of the vehicle allows short delivery times of three months for batches of up to 20 units and the vehicle is available in either left- or right-hand drive.
Servicing of Max 3 is simplified because of its standard Toyota powertrain and drivetrain. TheLand Cruiser’s powertrain is a 4.5 litre, V8, turbodiesel with 151 kW and torque of 430 Nm.
Spare parts and service items are available at any Toyota dealership world-wide. A service interval of 5 000 km is recommended owing to the intended usage profile and off-road application.
Max 3 procurement cost depends on configurations as well as the powertrain specification of the new Land Cruiser 79 used as the donor vehicle. Prices start from R1,6 m excluding VAT and the standard SVI warranty of 1-year/50 000 km applies for road use.
Automotive business council, Naamsa, has confirmed it will support the Competition Commission’s guidelines for competition in the South African automotive aftermarket.
The impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on new vehicle sales is still strongly evident in the latest sales statistics.
The South African automotive industry faces a challenging 2021, with new-vehicle prices continuing to climb well above the inflation rate in a market already severely constrained by the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.