Words & Images Angus Boswell
There are thousands of ‘chipped’ Hiluxes out there, many with over 200 000km on their odometers and still going strong, so the extra power can’t be all that dangerous. As long as that ‘extra power’ is kept strictly capped.
Toyota has built a reputation on vehicles that “keep going right” and they’ve done it by building a generous margin of safety into their engines. And the 3.0-litre D-4D turbodiesel (which powers my Hilux Vigo 2010 vintage) is a tough, slugger of a motor, which clearly does have the potential for a little more woema. It’s out of warranty now, with nearly 140 000km on the clock, and when it’s loaded (with a set of hefty 265/75 off-road tyres to lug along as unsprung weight) it gets a bit breathless on long hills in tar stretches at the legal speed limit.
Planetron Distributors, who have the franchise for Chip Box products, offered an upgrade for the D-4D in the form of a vehicle-specific performance module and a Pedal Booster unit to sharpen throttle response. These electronic devices carry a three-year warranty, and are produced by the Italian company Seletron, who have been in business developing performance enhancers for a vast range of vehicles since 1998.
The company’s mantra is “reliable power” and they insist that the properly chipped car is not the one that boasts the biggest power and torque gains. This is a key concern for an overlanding vehicle.