Sadly, many Land Cruiser 200s sold in South Africa rarely see a dirt road, sticking instead to Sandton pavements. This is thankfully not the case with this Botswana-built Cruiser, which has been designed to handle the country’s gravel roads and sandy tracks with ease.
Even in standard guise, a Toyota Land Cruiser 200 is a large and imposing vehicle, but next to this modified version, a stock-standard Cruiser looks downright ordinary.
The vehicle is a 2016 Cruiser VX, and was built by Hi-Range Safari City, which is based in Gaborone, Botswana. The company has been operating since 2008, and joined forces with Opposite Lock in 2011.
“We built this vehicle for a diehard Cruiser fan,” says Hi-Range Safari City MD Chris Thomson. “We’ve done a number of conversions and modifications for him, both to Cruiser station wagons and bakkies.”
As you’d expect, the aim with this Cruiser 200 was to create a vehicle that was both capable on-road and off.
“We wanted the vehicle to look great and turn heads, obviously,” says Thomson. “But it also needed to be functional. It’s pointless having a vehicle that looks great, yet has no more off-road capability than a standard 4×4.”
With this in mind, the Cruiser’s standard wheel combination was replaced with a set of Mickey Thompson M Series mag wheels and Mickey Thompson MTZ P3 tyres. An ARB rear bumper with two wheel carriers was also fitted to accommodate two spare wheels.
At the front, the vehicle has also been fitted with an Opposite Lock bull bar and a VRS winch. Other notable extras include a snorkel, Front Runner roof rack, Front Runner jacking points and rocksliders fabricated by Hi-Range Safari.
For Thomson, however, the two main features of this particular build are the Tough Dog suspension and the lighting set-up.
“The one main factor that makes this build so impressive is the Tough Dog suspension with its nine-stage adjustable shocks,” says Thomson.
“The ride comfort provided by the suspension is incredible. Also, thanks to its adjustability, you can easily modify the suspension to suit the load you’re carrying.”
The lights, meanwhile, make the often daunting prospect of travelling through Botswana at night far less intimidating.
“Here in Botswana, we have a lot of ‘hazards’ on the road in the forms of livestock and wildlife,” says Thomson. “Travelling after dark can be dangerous because of this, so when it comes to kitting out an SUV like this, good lights are an absolute must. The Lightforce fitment of 70 Watt HID XGT Spotlights and 30-inch single-row LED Lightbar definitely makes things a lot easier when driving at night. The light produced by this set-up is absolutely phenomenal.”
LIST OF EXTRAS
- Complete Tough Dog Suspension with nine-stage adjustable shocks
- Opposite Lock bull bar
- Safari snorkel
- VRS winch
- Lightforce XGT 70 Watt HID spotlights
- 30-inch single row Lightforce LED lightbar
- Land Cruiser 200 ARB rear bumper
- 2 x ARB wheel carriers
- Opposite Lock 4×4 shovel
- Spade mount bracket
- Front Runner axe mount bracket
- Hi-Lift jack
- Front Runner hi-lift jack mount bracket
- ATS Grayston wheel spanner
- Front Runner roof rack
- Front Runner extended jack adaptor
- 5W Lumeno work light
- Front Runner jacking points
- ickey Thompson MTZ P3 tyres x 6
- Mickey Thompson M series mag wheels x 6
- ATS Grayston wheel spanner
- Lenser LED torch with charging cradle
- Hi-Range fabricated rock sliders
- Melvill & Moon charcoal grey seat covers
- Takla bootliner
- Takla floor mats