You might not expect to see many Land Cruisers 70 Series cars in Geneva, Switzerland. The county’s immaculate road network is far from austere. However, Geneva is also home to the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and a slew of other humanitarian aid organisations that work in the world’s most remote locations.
In other words, Geneva is an ideal location for the debut of the GDJ76. While it may appear to be a vintage Land Cruiser, it is a brand-new model manufactured by Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings, a modification and distributor of Toyota fleet cars that sells the SUVs only to humanitarian relief organisations such as the ones mentioned.
Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings now sells the HZJ76, a “waggon” variation in the 70 Series portfolio that can seat ten passengers thanks to troop seats in the back. This is the car you’ve probably seen on the news dressed in UN garb.
The new GDJ76 gets the same upgraded treatment as the current Australian and Japanese “civilian” versions, but it lacks numerous creature conveniences such as automated high-beam headlights (the GDJ76 has basic halogen lamps), a digital instrument cluster, and a touchscreen. It does, however, include Toyota Active Traction Control (or A-TRAC) with manually locking hubs for increased reliability. The HZJ76’s characteristic white paint and black snorkel are also retained.
The 1GD-FTV engine, a 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel paired to a six-speed automated gearbox, powers the new GDJ76 from Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings. TGS claims that fuel economy has increased by 30% over the previous six-cylinder 1HZ, while output has increased from 129 to 201 hp. Emissions have been reduced by 30%, allowing the GDJ76 to fulfil Euro4 emissions regulations, which are required in certain of the countries where the truck will operate.
It should be noted that the GDJ76 is not a direct replacement for the HZJ76. Despite the major enhancements of the GDJ76, the two models will continue to be produced in tandem for at least one year, and TGS customers can still order the HZJ76. Toyota has not stated when or if the HZJ76 will be phased out completely.
According to a TGS spokesperson, space inside the engine bay has been significantly reduced with the GDJ76, which means they’ll have to come up with an engineering solution for some of the demands from aid organisations, such as dual batteries, larger alternators, and systems that run off engine power, such as refrigeration (for transporting vaccines).
As of today, deliveries of the GDJ76 to humanitarian organisations will begin in March, with the United Nations among the first clients with a significant fleet order, according to TGS.