RR Concept (a french company) directed by Rudy Roquesalane has already accustomed us to regularly release exceptional vehicles. We all remember the famous Land Rover Defender “Pop Top Events”, several raid vehicles all more beautiful than the others, including one Defender equipped with a V8 engine, a nice Unimog and many other achievements. However with this last beast out of the workshops, we touch the sublime, here is the Toyota Land Cruiser VDJ 79!
Toyota VDJ 79 6 × 6: an exceptional vehicle
The VDJ 79 is, as its name suggests, a 7 series model. In fact we do not find any in Europe in dealerships because it is mainly reserved for Africa, Asia or even Australia markets. It is equipped with the 4.5-liter V8 engine that was found on the VDJ 200s. This already makes it an extraordinary 4×4. For Rudy it could already have been a great working base but his client had another idea in mind. Something bigger, more ultimate, more sublime. So why not a 6 wheel drive. This Land Cruiser 6×6 does not exist in the Toyota catalog, but, because there is a but … we find it in Australia. These vehicles, more particularly intended for example for mining operations, are produced by NSV (Dubai) in collaboration with MultiDrive Technology (Australia).
Once the carrier vehicle has been purchased, it will take a few months for it to arrive in France by sea. And a few more months to prepare it, equip it and design a custom camper and its fittings.
As soon as it arrives, work begins at the body level. Indeed the version delivered in 4 doors is cut just after the rear seats. Rudy’s team will enlarge the cabin body by 15 cm to improve the space, but while being attentive to the profile of the Series 7. Coachbuilders will need a lot of skill and time to achieve this result.
Toyota VDJ 79 6×6
First of all let me tell you that this is a real 6×6. Each axle is powered. For the front obviously no problem but for the four rear wheels, the system uses a kind of pendulum system between the second and the third axle. Each axle has its own package of leafs and two shock absorbers. To couple them, there are two drive shafts that start from the transfer case (manufactured by NSV), one in the high position in two parts with a bearing for the rear axle and one located a little lower for the intermediate axle.
Note that here the axles are Tibus portal axles. This means that the wheels are not in line with the axle but are lowered. In fact, at each end of the axles, there is a system with a cascade of gables and fasteners which allow the axle to be raised relative to the center of the wheel. We gain more than 5 ″ (120mm) of ground clearance!
The axles are reinforced and have their small shielding. What could be missing to further improve the off road capabilities of this ultimate vehicle? Ah yes differential lockers, so here these are three pneumatic lockers that will be installed.
How about adding something to the Land Cruiser?
Did we forget something? No, oh yes, but why not install a controlled inflation / deflation system on the dashboard. No need to go down to adapt the correct air pressure to your tires. We maneuver a button and presto it’s magic, it works by itself. Obviously for such a system, the rims are specific and receive, through the hub, a hose for compressed air. An electropneumatic unit manages the inflation and displays the pressure. The air is supplied via a compressor which supplies a cylinder which acts as a reserve.
The fuel carrying capacity will be increased with custom tanks. The Toyota benefits from 280 l (61 gallons) of diesel.
The cabin of the Land Cruiser 6 × 6
The cabin was first completely designed in 3D CAD. We do not improvise at such a level of finish. After many hours and a few far-fetched arguments to make sure the design of the panels resumed the body of the Land Cruiser, it was the turn of the body builders, welders to come into play. The cabin is entirely made of aluminum, note that it is dustproof. This saves weight, aluminum does not rust and is very resistant. The idea is to offer one large openings on each side of the vehicle, thus providing access to the enormous space of this cabin. You also need to have space for two spare wheels at the back and finally at the top, a sleeping space that will unfold.
In the cabin on the right side is a technical and electrical part with separator coupler, 12 V / 220 V and all electronics management (Victron Energy). Storage spaces with 100% extractable aluminum drawers of different sizes allow you to store equipment. On the left side we find a drawer unit and a fridge freezer 80 there two zones mounted on an ingenious dropdown system. Just pull on a lever to extract the fridge and then lower it for easy access! And even with all these accessories, there is still a huge place in the camper. You can store everything you need there and supplies for a long-term raid lasting several weeks.
- Air / water heating (which will heat the roof tent)
- red / white military lighting
- 180 l water tank
- USB sockets
- 2 x 130 W solar panels
- 230 Ah battery
The roof tent
The proposed coating is 2000 x 1350 mm. The tent unfolds with compasses assisted by jacks, which gives a pleasant height under “ceiling”. The canvas is insulating and waterproof, it opens on all 4 sides with integrated mosquito nets. Under the ceiling are storage and nets.