There has been a lot of talk around the industry in regard to the arrival of the new Toyota Landcruiser 300 series.
As we all know, for the last 12-14 years, the 200 series was the “go-to” platform for the majority of users of civilian armoured vehicles. The choice was pretty obvious. This ubiquitous vehicle was robust, powerful, and certainly very conformable and allowed for the space required for the armouring modifications. Mind you, with all that in mind, it was still pretty expensive as a base vehicle. It also posed a challenge for service and support, particularly in the more remote locations in Africa, ME and Asia.
So now with the launch of the 300 series, the major uparmourers are scrambling to work their armouring design into the new platform. To be sure, the increased use of aluminium frames particularly in the doors will be provide a big challenge (more about than in our future blog posts). We are already seeing some of the uparmourers coming out with the “great news” that the new uparmoured LC 300 is already in production and ready for delivery to users around the world.
But the WARNING to all users is that this is an untried platform and so you really need to see how it performs in the field in actual operational conditions. Not simply how it manoeuvrers on a test track. How will the vehicle perform in regard to mobility …. Centre of Gravity … braking …. and the very important aspect of serviceability?
These are all great questions. And so probably the best advice at this stage would be to try one out in your most challenging area of operation. Take the vehicle through its paces. Make it work hard. Then do a full assessment of its performance, reliability, and serviceability.
Once you have done all this, you can then decide if the new LC 300 is the right vehicle for your fleet.