Thursday, October 8, 2015

Toyota pickup trucks: The right choice for a zombie apocalypse


The Treasury Department's Terror Financing Unit has launched an inquiry into why the Toyota Hilux is the ISIS jihad ride of choice. “Regrettably, the Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux have effectively become almost part of the ISIS brand,” Mark Wallace, CEO of the Counter Extremism Project and a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told ABC News. ...

To be fair, this isn't new to ISIS. The Toyota truck has been the easy-to-obtain, harder-to-destroy truck of choice for paramilitary ventures since the 1980s. The Taliban, Al Qaeda, Libyans, Chadians, the Free Syrian Army, U.S. Special Forces, and the Islamic State all share in common their preference for the Japanese-made vehicle, known as "the technical." They can be smashed, plunked into the ocean, buried in sand, shot at, burned, and still start dependably. (You can pick your armor-plated model here). ...

As former Army Ranger Andrew Exum told Newsweek in 2010, “The Toyota Hilux is everywhere. It’s the vehicular equivalent of the AK-47. It’s ubiquitous to insurgent warfare." A New York Times report from 2001 triangulated that analogy with the Al Qaeda grunts addicted to the trucks. ...

Some features of the Hilux to note: When conducting guerrilla-style warfare in hostile desert climes, a solid wheelbase and "stout" chassis are foundational requirements. Yet, something light and fast needs to be able to fit a small army, and loot. Thankfully, there's a king cab option with extended bed in Nebula Blue. Patrolling a caliphate the size of Belgium? A 21-gallon fuel tank will get you over to the next village you plan to seize.
--Nathan Pemberton, New York, on the downside of great engineering