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By Mark Jones

Road Test Editor

Six-wheel Toyota Land Cruiser primed to take on any battle

Try as you may, this lightly-armoured, heavily armed monster will not get stuck.

A little while back The Citizen Motoring told you about this military-grade six-wheel gedoente called the Armormax TAC-6 Toyota Land Cruiser 79 we spent a weekend cruising around the suburbs in.

It is a lightly-armoured, heavily-armed, yet extremely agile and versatile military combat machine that can get you in and out of any almost combat situation. Well, my combat mission was to first go play in the dirt with the TAC-6. And then head off to Gerotek to do some data testing to see what the power upgrades have done for this Toyota Land Cruiser 79.

The standard 4.5-litre V8 turbodiesel produces 151kW and 430Nm and must lug around 2.3 tons of Land Cruiser. But once the Armormax boys are finished with the TAC-6, this Toyota Land Cruiser must lug around a full 3.1 tons of standard vehicle weight. That is even before you load it with a few rocket launchers and stuff.

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Six-wheel Toyota Land Cruiser gets power bump

The standard power was never going to be enough. Armormax upgraded the software and a did a few other tweaks and now the TAC-6 pushes out a much-improved 192kW of power and a full 710Nm of torque.

There is no having to modulate a clutch and shift gears manually here. The standard box makes way for a an optional, bespoke 8HP90 automatic unit that was purpose-built by ZF for the TAC-6 Toyota Land Cruiser. It has a torque capacity of up to 1000Nm. And the eight gears and wide gear ratio are spread to ensure optimal power delivery across diverse terrains.

TAC-6 Toyota Land Cruiser rear
The TAC-6 is geared to conquer any terrain. Picture: Mark Jones

Despite being built with high-strength gears, bearings and advanced cooling systems, where the ZF 8HP90 can operate in extreme temperatures and off-road environments, it was the long straight at Gerotek that the data numbers would be revealed.

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Seamless transitions

The transfer case is designed to seamlessly transition between 6×2 and 6×6 configurations. And it employs internal synchros for smooth engagement which allows the TAC-6 to effortlessly adapt to any environment with ease and reliability. Unlike traditional chain-driven systems known for their inherent drawbacks, the TAC-6 transfer case utilises a gear-driven mechanism.

This deliberate choice ensures that the entire drivetrain maintains the exacting OEM standards and eliminates slap back often associated with chain-driven systems.

I must admit, while playing in the dirt, I really tried to get the TAC-6 Toyota Land Cruiser stuck. I drove it up and down all the crazy hills and berms that the off-road motorbike boys play on at the dumps, but no chance.

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Feels faster than it is

Change to 6×6 and outside of rolling it on its roof, the TAC-6 trundles over anything with ease. For the straight-line stuff, I just left it in 6×2 and stomped on the accelerator.

The TAC-6 does get up and go and shifting that much weight makes it feel like you are flying. But the reality is that robot to robot racing is not why this machine was built. It got to 100 km/h in a reasonable 20-seconds while on the way to a top speed of 140 km/h.

TAC-6 Toyota Land Cruiser
The driver’s seat is the place to be in the TAC-6. Picture: Mark Jones

I know you want to laugh, but if you have served in the military, you will know that doing 140 km/h through the bush chasing after bad people is not fun for anybody but the driver. And besides, the 50-cal mounted on the rear is there for doing all the speeding you would want in a contact situation.

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TAC-6 can go forever

The next part is also self-explanatory. On the TAC-6 Toyota Land Cruiser, the two factory fuel tanks are replaced with two specially designed tanks. They offer a combined capacity of 300 litres and at around 15-litres per 100km, you should be able venture around for about 2 000km before hitting empty.

Should you require even more range, then you can opt for a 560-litre tank on the double cab. And a 610-litre tank on the single cab Toyota Land Cruiser bakkie.

I thankfully had no war to fight and did’t have to haul out R7 000 to fill this beast up. But again, it’s not about this’. It’s about getting way out into the middle of nowhere and back without having to hunt around for diesel.

Combat game-changer

For us this might have been a fun toy for the weekend. But it is a serious piece of military spec equipment. It will make a life and death difference to the people who need an Amormax TAC-6 Toyota Land Cruiser 79.

For more information, contact Michael Broom on 084 325 2744 or michael@tac-6.com. Or view the Armormax TAC-6 Toyota Land Cruiser on the Armormax website for more information.

TAC-6 Toyota Land Cruiser test data

TAC-6 Toyota Land Cruiser data sheet

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