Potential Purchase of the Week: 1996 Toyota Mega Cruiser – Rumor Central

31 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Potential Purchase of the Week: 1996 Toyota Mega Cruiser – Rumor Central

Potential Purchase of the Week: 1996 Toyota Mega Cruiser

After nearly 50 years of production, Toyota#8217;s Land Cruiser is nothing short of an icon in the off-road world, but it isn#8217;t the biggest, baddest SUV ever produced by the automaker. That honor goes to the rare Mega Cruiser #8212; two examples of which are apparently up for sale.

If this looks like Japan#8217;s version of a Hummer H1, you#8217;re not far from the mark. Although reportedly engineered completely in-house by Toyota, the Mega Cruiser was designed primarily as a military vehicle, although Toyota built a handful for public consumptions. It wasn#8217;t uncommon to see Mega Cruisers decked out as police vehicles, fire trucks, or mobile missile launchers #8212; but it was a spectacle to behold one used as a family hauler.

All Mega Cruisers were gifted with a full-time four-wheel-drive system, complete with locking front, center, and rear differentials. 37-inch run-flat tires helped aid mobility, as did a whopping 16.5 inches of ground clearance, which blessed the Mega Cruiser with an approach angle of 49 degrees and a departure angle of 45 degrees. To help aid maneuverability of the massive machine, Toyota blessed the Mega Cruiser with four-wheel steering.

Like the H1, the Mega Cruiser was fitted with a turbo diesel, but in a much different form. Instead of utilizing an aging GM diesel, power came from Toyota#8217;s 4.1-liter turbo-diesel I-4.

Rated at 150 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, the engine reportedly pushed the 6400-pound 4#215;4 from 0-60 mph in 20.6 seconds.

Why would I want one?

Hummer H1s themselves are pretty spectacular, but #8212; generally speaking #8212; are a fairly common sight. Not so the Mega Cruiser #8212; Toyota has never revealed how many were built between 1995 and 2002, but only a handful escaped life as a government-owned machine. Although the chassis appears to encroach into the interior like the H1, the cabin design and materials appear to be a step above what was incorporated in the majority of civilian Hummers.

Why can#8217;t I have one?

Thanks to it#8217;s young age, neither of these two 1996 Mega Cruisers are eligible for importation into the U.S. and you#8217;ll have a heck of a time getting it across the border with a show and display exception. If you#8217;re interested in owning one, you#8217;d better have a place in another country #8212; Canada, for instance #8212; where importation laws are relaxed.

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