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Toyota Australia has developed a ground-breaking accessory bullbar with a unique chassis mounting system for the new LandCruiser Prado.
The Sovereign bullbar was developed by Toyota's T-CAM (Toyota Conversions, Accessories and Motorsport) group.
Sovereign bullbar's mounting system features a chassis pin and bolt arrangement, which not only secures the mounting bracket to the Prado's chassis rails, but also distributes winching loads deep within the chassis.
In a frontal impact, the bolt slides into the chassis rail to avoid impeding the correct deformation of the mounting bracket and chassis rail, thereby retaining the vehicle's collision safety performance.
The mounting bracket has been designed to collapse gradually during an impact, avoiding a spike in the transfer of loads to the chassis rail, which might in turn cause the incorrect deployment of the vehicle's airbags.
The design ensures the Sovereign bullbar is fully SRS Airbag compatible, and does not affect Prado's compliance with Australian Design Rules governing full frontal impact occupant protection.
The Sovereign bullbar has been developed to comply with the new Australian Standard for bullbars.
The new bullbar's development program included extensive on-vehicle crash tests in Japan to ensure SRS Airbag compatibility in a range of collision circumstances, and Australian Design Rule compliance.
Locally, sophisticated strength, fatigue and durability tests were conducted to ensure the Sovereign bullbar meets the needs of Prado users.
A final design bullbar was then subjected to rigorous field testing and durability trials. Vehicles fitted with Sovereign bullbars were driven over rough corrugated roads, with measuring devices recording vehicle and bullbar movement data.
This data was fed into a gigantic shaker table, where an entire vehicle fitted with a Sovereign bullbar was shaken aggressively to the equivalent of tens of thousands of kilometres of rough road driving.
Extensive testing of the bullbar and optional winch cradle was also conducted to prove winching performance.
The Sovereign is the first bumper-replacement bullbar to be manufactured in Australia using cast aluminium rather than extrusions or welded sheet metal, making it stronger but lighter than those conventional bullbars.
The Sovereign bullbar is covered by a three-year/100,000 kilometre warranty when fitted at the time of new vehicle purchase.