Us Europeans assume those guys across the pond want for nothing when it comes to off roading and the world of 4×4’s. So you may be surprised to learn that there are a few of our trusty off roaders that they would love to get their hands on, but just can’t have them due to the US emission laws, import sales taxes or manufacturers agreements.
We put together a list of the top five desired “light” trucks that our cousins across the water would like, and if you are lucky enough to own one, you could set up a deal and export your motor for a nice profit.
5, The TOYOTA LANDCRUISER 70 series
Whilst the U. S. has received numerous generations of the Land Cruiser, it has been marketed more as a high end SUV that can also stray off road. Toyota has never offered the Land Cruiser 70 Series in America, which is a true off road capable platform to build a good off roader from.
The Land Cruiser 70 Series is currently available in markets like Australia, Latin America, Africa, and a host of other lucky countries. It is currently sold in four different variations; a single cab truck, a double cab truck configuration, a seven seat wagon, and a “troop carrier” which is essentially a standard looking SUV without the rear passenger doors that somewhat resembles the body of a van.
A luxury off roader the 70 Series is not, and aside from basic creature comforts like power windows and a CD player, the truck is light on frills but heavy on capabilities.
4, TOYOYA HILUX pickup
Proven by Top Gear to be the almost indestructible 4×4 utility, the HiLux is an icon in it’s own right, so to be in demand is no surprise. The surprise is however, that the U.S. does not get them.
Marketed as a mid-sized light truck, the Hilux shares many design cues, along with components, as the Tacoma that is sold in America. Over the course of the Hilux’s life cycle, it has been offered in numerous body styles including single cab, extended cab, and a full four door variety. What’s more, while Americans hope and pray for small-displacement turbo diesels in their mid-size and full-size trucks the HiLux has had them all. For the off road enthusiast, this Toyota has it all, as the Hilux is offered with a five-speed manual transmission, a fantastic four-wheel-drive system, and a wheelbase of 108-122-inches that is perfect for off road use.
Toyota has no plans to take the Hilux to America this is further proven by the 2016 Toyota Tacoma set to be unveiled in January.
3, FORD RANGER pickup
You may be amazed that the Ford Ranger is not available to the American market, from an American manufacturer.
The North American Ford Ranger, which sold from 1983-2011, was Ford’s entry into the compact truck market and was incredibly successful over its production run. Selling as both the Ford Ranger and the Mazda “B-Series,” production ended in 2011 as the platform was largely out dated having not received significant upgrades since 1998, and was therefore pushed aside with intent directing truck buyers toward the full-size F150 which has bolstered Ford sales figures in this last twelve months.
Much like the Toyota Hilux, the Ranger T6 is offered with numerous engines that would be the envy by off roaders in America. Most noticeably, a naturally aspirated 2.2-liter diesel motor that achieves 276 lb-ft of torque and 30.9 mpg along with a 3.2-liter turbo diesel inline five cylinder that produces an astonishing 346 lb-ft of torque and 28 mpg, coupled to a reliable six speed gearbox delivering all of that to the floor.
2, NISSAN PATROL
Since 1951 there have been six generations of the Nissan patrol, but it is the fifth inception that is demanded by the American off road community.
Known as the Y61, originally offered in a two door, or four door SUV wagon, a four door pickup, or two door pickup variation, the Patrol was a great choice with tons of room for flexibility depending on your needs. The Patrol was also not lacking on power either as it was offered in several petrol or turbo diesel variations over its lifetime.
Most notably, the Patrol came with the straight-six TB48DE power plant that produced 276 bhp and 295 lb-ft of torque and is a great choice of engine tuners in the U.A.E. who have been able to get close to 1,900 bhp out of them climbing insane near vertical sand dunes which sounds like a great fun.
1, LAND ROVER DEFENDER
Well could it be anything else … the Defender is the most wanted 4×4 in the USA, of the one’s that they cannot have.
Although only being available in America for a few years during the 1990s, the Land Rover Defender still has a huge following, with a heritage of some 67 years and enough information for someone to write an encyclopaedia about. The Defender name has served the test of time and has been used by government departments and the public alike throughout the decades.
The American view on the Defender is that they are known for their durability and utilitarian nature, having a long standing history of being a vehicle that is relatively easy to repair and that can take a true beating. Furthermore, with wheelbases that ranged between 93 and 127-inches, and lots of ground clearance with their cab on frame design, the Defender was a go to for civilians who liked to take the road less travelled, plus many government bodies including military, police, rescue and fire departments.
Sadly, the 67 year life span will be ended later this year or possibly early 2016, and our cousins over there are willing to pay top dollar for an imported Defender, finding one in the United States just isn’t going to happen, they are less common than the old prospectors gold dust.
Check the tinterweb for prices the Defender is fetching over there … stunning!