Motoring News

‘Mon armour’! Land Cruiser takes it to the MAX 3:

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – SVI Engineering, a specialist manufacturer of armoured products, recognised the need for a cost-effective vehicle capable of protecting its occupants from ballistic weapons and rioters.

It’s the latest version of the MAX 3 – the entry vehicle to the MAX family of specialszed bullet- and mine-resistant vehicles.

The MAX 3, The Corner was told, was designed as a multi-role vehicle – including a civilian version, with applications including mining security, riot control, civil security, anti-poaching and convoy protection – such as valuables in transit.

BRUTE IN THE BUSH. Image: Supplied

The vehicles, in military configuration, are air-transportable in a Hercules C130 and come with weapon mounts for .50 calibre pintle mountings, remote weapon systems, and Scorpion 60mm and 81mm mortars.

Customer-supplied equipment such as communication systems can also be installed.

See the MAX 3 in action

The vehicles, The Corner was told, are an evolution of a previous version through with a fresh focus on improved ergonomics, more cabin space, and bolder styling. The armoured steel shell was designed and is assembled in-house by SVI using the latest computer software and manufacturing techniques.

READ MORE Land Cruiser features on Carman’s Corner

”The conversion process,” SVI told The Corner, ”entails removing the soft-skin bodies of Land Cruiser 79 units and replacing them with an all-steel, armour-plated, body. The armoured construction provides protection from EN1063 BR6 weapons (assault rifles), shells and anti-personnel mines.”

ALL ARMOURED: Image: Supplied

Each can later be ungraded to BR7 certification.

The vehicles can be delivered in single- double-cab, or armoured personnel carrier guises for up to eight people. ”Although mostly standard,” SVI said, ”the drivetrain will have been upgraded with higher-rated wheel rims/tyres, upgraded suspension, and an extra rear anti-roll bar.

<a href=”http://<iframe width=”480″ height=”270″ src=”; frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen>WATCH THE INFO VIDEO HERE

Modular design has allowed a three-month delivery time for batches of up to 20 units in left- or right-hand drive.


Servicing of the standard Toyota power and drivetrains uses parts and other service items available from any Toyota dealer worldwide. Service intervals are recommended every 5000km – way more frequently than standard Cruisers because of their likely use.


MAX 3 procurement cost depends on configuration and powertrain but but start at R1.6-million (ex-VAT) and a standard SVI warranty of a year or 50 000km (whichever comes first) for road use will apply.


SVI was formed in 2004 as an innovative mechanical engineering and rapid product development company with capabilities in product design, finite element analysis, development, product evaluation – and armoured products.

The company is BEE Level 2 and its quality management system is certified to ISO 9001:2015 by TÜV Rheinland.

Engine: 4.5-litre, eight-cylinder, turbodiesel capable of 151kW @ 3400rpm / 430Nm from 1200-3200rpm and top speed in excess of 140km/h.

PLUG-UGLY: But who cares if it can withstand rifle fire and landmines? Image: Supplied

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