Say something about Landcruiser VX

Hi Baraza,

I always look forward to reading DN2 every Wednesday morning.

1. Kindly do a review on HINO trucks that Toyota has introduced in the market.

2. Say something about Landcruiser VX because they seem to go strong even after seeing better days.

3. How come a Landcruiser VX, which is 4700 CC VVT-I Turbo, produces 314 HP yet a Range Rover with a smaller engine produces 500 HP? Does HP measurement in different countries differ?

Itonga.

1. I will, as soon as they give me a truck for a “proper” test drive. I drove one of the new units in Nakuru, but I hardly got a feel of the vehicle. A short stint that barely allows you to go into fifth gear (and lasting a very brief 10 minutes) does not constitute “a thorough test drive”.

But, the few things I noticed include a vague-ish gear-shift action, the dashboard is very modern and well designed (for a truck), the face looks like a Japanese cartoon (what is up with those gigantic indicator lamps anyway?) and the accelerator pedal feels very, VERY weird when the speed governor kicks in.

2. About the Landcruiser VX, these cars are built to withstand a considerable amount of abuse. We car reviewers tend to use words like “robust”, “solid”, and “feels like it was hewn from granite” when describing just how hardy and strong the car feels, and actually is.

The Landcruiser line of cars are meant for hardcore off-road activities, which may be up to and including, but not limited to, crawling over rocks, sailing over sand, clawing through ice, and fording headlamp-depth rivers. For a car to do all this and more, flimsiness in any part of the car design is likely to get an engineer fired in no uncertain terms. So, yes, the Landcruiser is near-immortal.

3. I would like to know what Range Rover that is that has “a smaller engine producing 500hp”. Anyway, horsepower is standard everywhere. It is just that some people quote figures observed at the flywheel while others give the power developed at the (road) wheels. The flywheel figure is always higher than the road figure for a given car because factors like rolling resistance and transmission losses have not been considered.

There are a lot of things that determine how much power an engine develops, the main ones being the torque and how high the engine can rev (in rpm). Other factors include design and engine “maps” (the programming in the ECU that affects ignition timing, valve timing and injection pulses, again among many other things).

From all these factors I think you can see that it is very much possible for a small engine to develop massive power in comparison to a bigger one. I know of a car with a 2.0-litre engine that does 800 wheel horsepower at 9,000 rpm… and no, not from the Internet, I have actually ridden in that car. It is nerve-wracking.

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