You might not expect to find a high concentration of Land Cruisers 70 Series models in Geneva, Switzerland. The county’s pristine road network is anything but austere. But Geneva is also home to the United Nations, The International Committee of the Red Cross, and a bevy of other humanitarian aid organizations that operate in the most extreme regions of the globe.
In other words, Geneva is the perfect place to launch the GDJ76. While it may look like a classic, this is a brand-new Land Cruiser made by Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings, a modifier and distributor of Toyota fleet vehicles that then sells the SUVs exclusively to humanitarian aid organizations like the ones mentioned.
Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings currently sells the HZJ76, the "wagon" variant in the 70 Series lineup, configured to carry 10 passengers thanks to troop seating in the rear. This is the vehicle you’ve likely seen on the news wearing the UN livery.
The new GDJ76 features the same updated treatment as the contemporary Australian and JDM "civilian" versions, but it foregoes many of the creature comforts like automatic high-beam headlights (the GDJ76 is equipped with basic halogen lamps), a digital gauge cluster, or a touchscreen. What it does come equipped with, however, is Toyota Active Traction Control (or, A-TRAC) with manually locking hubs for greater reliability. The signature white paint and black snorkel also carry over from the HZJ76.
Powering the new GDJ76 from Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings is the 1GD-FTV engine, a 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. This is where the major improvements are – according to TGS, fuel economy is up 30 percent from the prior six-cylinder 1HZ, and power is up from 129 horsepower to 201 hp as well. Emissions have gone down 30 percent, and that allows the GDJ76 to meet Euro4 emissions standards, necessary to operate in some of the nations the truck will serve in.
It’s important to note that the GDJ76 isn’t necessarily a replacement for the HZJ76. The two models will continue to be produced in parallel for at least one year, and clients of TGS can still order the HZJ76 despite the significant improvements of the GDJ76. It’s unknown when – and if – Toyota will phase out the HZJ76 completely.
A spokesperson from TGS noted that room inside the engine bay has significantly decreased with the GDJ76, which means they’ll have to come up with an engineering solution for some of the demands from aid organizations like dual batteries, larger alternators, and systems that run off engine power like refrigeration (for transporting vaccines).
As of now, delivery of the GDJ76 to aid organizations will begin in March, and according to TGS, the United Nations is among the first customers with a sizable fleet order.
Photos: Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings, Cole Pennington For Motor1