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SAC shows off Toyota Land Cruiser 70 “The Beauty”

You can tell a Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series owner from a mile away. While other off-road enthusiasts talk about ground clearance and capabilities, they just quietly smile and nod; because they know the Cruiser 70 has proven itself in any conceivable situation to earn the title “Master of Africa”.


Despite the Cruiser 70’s capabilities, the diesel engine in this bakkie or station wagon has always left much to be desired. The 4.2 in-line six cylinder (code-named 1HZ) is virtually unbreakable and it is comfortable with even the dirtiest diesel, but with 94kW and 280Nm the engine power is pretty pedestrian.

Then the single-turbo 151kW / 430Nm V8 arrived. As a cousin to the twin-turbo in the Land Cruiser 200, this V8 held much promise of more power, faster acceleration and less hard work when driving off road. And the 70 Series V8 has delivered on that promise, which is evidenced in the large number of V8 Cruisers that are sold every month.

But it was not long after the new V8 landed on local soil that customers arrived at the doorstep of Steves Auto Clinic to discuss power upgrades. Many of these customers had read and heard what Unichip offered customers of the same vehicle in other countries, such as Australia. They wanted to know when SAC and its engineers would also make it available for the local market.

Well, the wait is over. SAC now offer a multi-stage conversion for the 70 Series V8 that delivers over 20 percent more power and a thumping 30 percent in expected extra torque. In a V8 that already puts the old 4.2D in the shade, this upgrade is impressive indeed. As an added benefit, the upgrade has made the 70 Series V8 so much better to drive, which has led to the name “The Beauty”.

As with any turbodiesel power upgrade, the team at SAC tests the conversion in full before fitting it to a single customer’s vehicle. SAC also programmes and tests every upgrade in three dimensions on its four-wheel dynamometers. These parameters include engine speed, load, ignition, fuel mixture and boost. This not only ensures that every engine delivers its best performance despite its age and usage patterns, but also that every upgrade is safe and durable, just like the Land Cruiser 70.


This power upgrade consists of the fitment of a Unichip Plug and Play unit, that is pre-programmed with different engine maps. The engine maps include a special Anti-Theft setting that immobilises the engine. Next up is a standard setting which is exactly that; the engine in standard factory form. The next map is developed to allow for the best possible fuel consumption when driven normally or in city traffic.

The fourth map was created to make the Land Cruiser 70 Series even better at what it does best, off road driving and towing heavy equipment. This map makes the engine very powerful, yet driveable for the times you tow a boat or caravan or when you are looking for low down toque whilst fording rivers or crawling over rocks.

The last map is the ultimate; this map considers aspects such as throttle response, boost control, fuel pressure, engine temperature, mechanical load and many other elements to give the driver the most possible power from this engine without placing undue stress on the mechanicals.

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The full conversion can include the fitment of a special performance exhaust system that allows the V8 engine to breathe easier. Limiting exhaust back pressure but not increasing engine noise.

For more information visit SAC at their award winning website or on Facebook at or on Twitter on .or contact a branch near you.

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa