TOYOTA has started 2019 where it ended 2018; atop the 4x4 sales charts. The Japanese marque shifted 2993 Hilux 4x4s last month, outselling the Ford Ranger 4x4 by 750 units. The Hilux 4x4 also bucked the widespread trend seen across the industry to register a sales growth of 3.9 per cent (compared to January 2018). Conversely, Ford dipped in sales by 22.4 per cent month-to-month.

That widespread trend – a total of 81,994 vehicles were sold last month, 6557 less than in January 2018 (88,551) – can be attributed to low levels of consumer confidence, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) CEO, Tony Weber. “The current economic environment is a challenging one, with an imminent federal election, a declining real estate market and tighter lending practices,” he said.

Some 15,809 new LCVs sold in January compared to 16,776 in the same month last year. The PU/CC 4x4 segment registered a dip in sales, with 11,853 recorded compared to 12,196 last year.



Top-selling 4x4s in January 2019 Source: VFACTS


FORD has taken the wraps off a stonking 7.3-litre petrol-powered V8 engine at the unveiling of its US-built 2020 F-Series Super Duty pick-up. The big bruiser, based on the company’s commercial-grade donks, uses an all-new cam-in-block, overhead valve architecture with a cast iron block and forged steel crankshaft. To optimise performance the engine utilises port injection with variable-valve timing, while oil jets cool the pistons under heavy loads. The 7.3-litre V8 is joined by the familiar 6.2-litre petrol-powered V8 and a third-gen 6.7litre Power Stroke diesel V8. All three engines can be mated to a new 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission.


TOYOTA USA unveiled a Heritage Edition Land Cruiser 200 Series to mark 60 years of the iconic model in the USA. The Land Cruiser first became available in the USA in 1958; however, this special edition is being sold there as a 2020 model. While most of what’s special about this Cruiser is the usual limited edition fare of blackouts, unique trim and leather upholstery, the items we couldn’t go past are the totally retro ‘Toyota Land Cruiser’ badges applied to the rear pillars. They are straight off the original FJ20 Cruisers and don’t look out of place on this latest model.

The Heritage Edition has a couple of concessions to improve off-road ability: the side-steps have been omitted to improve clearance, and those modespecific bronze alloy wheels are 18-inch forged units from BBS instead of the oversized rims many manufacturers would fit to special models.

Like all 200s in the USA, the Heritage is powered exclusively by the 5.7-litre petrol V8 engine backed by an eight-speed auto transmission and dual-range, full-time 4x4. The Americans don’t get the 1VD-FTE twin-turbo diesel V8 which accounts for more than 98 per cent of Land Cruiser sales here. It will be limited to 1200 models and will go on sale in the USA later in 2019.

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