How it drives
There are plenty of terrains I’m confident this type of vehicle would take in its stride, however, soft and steep, to be honest, wasn’t one of them. I wanted to test this vehicle on terrain that might challenge it. With that in mind, we headed south of Perth to Calcup Hill, Yaegarup Dunes and some stunning Southern Ocean beaches.
This 200 Series LandCruiser ute is fitted with a SAFARI ARMAX ECU, so combined with the Toyota twin-turbo V8 it has plenty of power. The question was more whether it had enough to overcome the additional kilograms.
The answer, surprisingly, was yes. It repeatedly cruised up Calcup Hill with ease. The remote reservoir shock absorbers and long-wheelbase certainly helped too; they soaked up the bumps at the base of the hill, making it easy to get a smooth run into the climb.
There’s no denying that this is a colossal LandCruiser 200 Series ute. The extended wheelbase is 3,500 mm; for comparison, a 79 Series LandCruiser has a 3,180 mm wheelbase or 3,480 mm with the increasingly popular 300 mm extension.
Even with the length and width of this vehicle, I was surprised how quickly I adjusted to maneuvring it down some tight tracks.
For tight maneuvring, I trialled, for my first time, the Toyota Off-road Turn Assist Mode. On full steering lock, this activates the rear brake on the inside of the turn, forcing the vehicle to pivot around the dragging tyre. It works incredibly well, with some turn that would have required a few attempts becoming navigatable in one take.
The Build Introduction
This 200 Series LandCruiser ute is fitted with a SAFARI ARMAX ECU and high flow ARMAX Snorkel. The combination results in a power increase from 200 kW to 260 kW and a torque gain from 650 Nm to 845 Nm all with class-leading automatic engine protection and a full driveline warranty.
The cabin control allows on the fly switching between comfort, sport, tow and traction assist modes.
Protection & Driving Lights
Offering full frontal protection is an ARB Summit Winch Bar, which is fitted with a Runva 13XP winch and Factor 55 Flatlink E.
The bar on this 200 Series LandCruiser ute is also fitted with the Lightforce Genesis Pro LED driving lights and a GME 2.1 dB UHF antenna.
The sills are protected by the clever ClearView Power Boards.
Extending back from the bar is beefy Brown Davis Under Vehicle Protection.
Suspension and Tyres
This LandCruiser 200 Series ute has an ASG 4×4 GVM upgrade to 4,490 kg. Part of this upgrade is the reinforcing of the factory rear differential. This is conducted by ASG 4×4 and engineer approved as a component of their GVM upgrade kits.
Front and rear, this 200 Series LandCruiser ute is riding on King Off-road Racing Shocks remote reservior shock absorbers and coils. The resulting ride is buttery smooth.
The OEM upper control arms were replaced with ones from Blackhawk to correct the balljoint angle after the 2-inch lift.
The wheels are the new Method MR305 NV in size 17″ diameter and 8.5″ wide. Fitted to these are Toyo RTs in size 35″ x 12.5″.
Keeping the in-vehicle electrics neat is the Ultimate Power Distribution Box.
Replacing the factory audio unit is an Alpine 9″ Infotainment Navigation System with inbuilt Hema mapping and reverse camera.
Neatly flush mounted is a ScanGauge.
Also neatly mounted is a REDARC Tow-Pro Elite V3 brake controller.
Finally, in the cabin is a GME XRS UHF radio.
The 200 Series LandCruiser Ute and Canopy
ASG 4×4 has done a very neat job of the body cut on this 200 Series LandCruiser ute, resulting in an almost factory finish.
The old wheel arches are neatly converted into handy toolboxes.
The Trig Point canopy has a steel frame and aluminium doors and roof to save weight. This one is optioned with a single spare carrier and Trig Point ladder.
Canopy Fitout & Electrics
The Trig Point canopy on this 200 Series LandCruiser ute is massive. On the driver-side, two RV Storage Solutions drawers running to the back of the fridge. These drawers are sturdy and are built from aluminium, again with weight savings in mind.
On the passenger side are two shorter, narrower drawers beside a Bushman 85 litre fridge.
The canopy has a 200 Ah lithium battery which is charged by a REDARC Manager 30 which allows charging from DC to DC while driving, solar or 240 volts.
Neatly mounted below the Manager 30 is the REDARC RedVision Distribution and Fuse Box. This connects by ethernet cable to the RedVision display and control unit installed above the fridge on the other side of the canopy. It’s a smart system that consolidates wiring, switches and gauges into one compact and easy to use unit; it also includes an App to mirror functionality.
Also utilising the gap above the fridge is a REDARC 2000W Inverter.
On the rear of the canopy are two Lightforce ROK20 lights.
The roof of the Trig Point canopy is fitted with their rack mounting system. Over the canopy of this 200 Series LandCruiser ute is a new Rhino Pioneer Platform rack.
The passenger side rear toolbox is fitted with an ARB twin-compressor.
Long Range Fuel
The 93L front tank has been retained, and the rear tank has been replaced with a 180L Brown Davis Long Range Fuel Tank for a combined 273L of diesel.
A 200 Series LandCruiser ute is comfortable, cavernously roomy and surprisingly good off-road.