LA Sport’s Lionel Lewis is known for his extreme 4×4 creations – particularly his SUVs and bakkies – but his latest offering is something quite different. It is a flatbed Iveco Daily 4×4 conversion built for extreme applications.
Iveco launched the Daily 4×4, a four-wheel-drive version of its popular Daily, in South Africa around the middle of 2013. The obvious question is: what would one use it for? Although the Daily is up for proper rock crawling, as shown by some of the pictures, this really isn’t what the vehicle was made for.
“We see quite a market in the leisure segment,” says Francois Pieterse from AFS Commercial Vehicles, an authorised dealer for Iveco SA. “The vehicle is ideal for leisure activities, such as launching a boat. Its high ride height, excellent ground clearance, large tyres and good approach and departure angles make it perfect for this sort of job.”
Of course, there are plenty of commercial applications for the Daily 4×4 as well, especially in industries such as mining and construction. Tuff Stuff insurance recently purchased one of these 4x4s to act as a recovery vehicle that could be used when traditional 4x4s simply weren’t up to the task.
When it comes to capable 4x4s that weigh more than 3500kg, there is one vehicle that just about everyone knows: the Mercedes-Benz Unimog.
The Unimog is undoubtedly a very impressive vehicle, but it’s pricey. The Daily 4×4 might not be quite as large and capable as the Merc, but it comes surprisingly close. Moreover, the Iveco model is substantially cheaper. The single cab version retails at R609 000, excluding VAT. The double cab version costs R629 000, excluding VAT.
Since the Daily 4×4 is a commercial vehicle weighing more than 3500kg, by the way, the VAT can be claimed back when you buy one.
The Daily is powered by a three-litre turbodiesel engine that develops 107 kW of power and 350 Nm of torque. That might not sound like an awful lot of oomph for a vehicle of its size, but don’t let the performance figures fool you. The Daily is very capable, especially when dealing with tough off-road conditions.
It has a part-time 4WD system with a centre differential that can lock power delivery to all four wheels, as well as diff locks on both the front and rear axles. It also has low-range gearing, including an ultra-low mode that allows the Daily to crawl at very low speeds.
The Daily 4×4 is undoubtedly tough in standard guise, but Lionel Lewis and his team at LA Sport identified some ways in which it could be improved for off-road use. The result is a list of optional extras that convert the Daily into a very serious off-roader.
At the front, a large LAS bumper is available that not only protects the vehicle but is also capable of accommodating a 12 000lb winch.
The standard rims and tyres can be swapped for 37×12.5 R17 tyres and American Racing rims. In order to fit the new rims, LAS wheel adapters are also installed. At the rear, a winch-compatible LAS bumper can be fitted.
The most impressive option, however, is an articulated flatbed. The bed is attached to a pivot point at the rear, allowing it to stay perfectly flat, even when the chassis underneath twists. This means that the vehicle can also be used very successfully when constructing an off-road camper. Thanks to the articulated flatbed, the camper’s cabin stays nice and flat, even when traversing horrible off-road terrain.
If a standard bakkie or SUV just won’t be able to meet your 4×4 needs, the Daily 4×4 is a fantastic option. Considering how reasonably priced the vehicle is, the Iveco offers a lot of off-road kit and capability for your money.
For more information on the Daily 4×4 and the LA Sport conversion, contact AFS Commercial Vehicles on 021 541-1175; or LA Sport Head Office on 012 808-9951.
LA SPORT IVECO DAILY OPTIONS
LAS front bumper R11 995
Warn Zeon winch R16 995
LAS snorkel R7595
LAS rear bumper R8995
LAS wheel adapters R6600
5 x rims and tyres R36 000
Rear winch R16 895
LAS articulated flatbed R23 250