We Regret to Inform You That Kanye's 'Wife' Drives a Painfully Cool Toyota MegaCruiser
Kanye West, whose Cultural Resonance Index (CRI) has been trending awkwardly lately, has joined the long line of celebrities enchanted with civilian versions of military vehicles. As far back as the immediate years after World War II, a surefire way for a movie star to get positive press was to be photographed with a surplus MB while wearing rugged outdoorsy gear.
According to the UK’s Daily Mail, West was spotted cruising around the Los Angeles area with new wife Bianca Censori and she, it seems, drives a white Toyota Mega Cruiser. About Censori, R&T knows little except that she was wearing angel wings when seen with West and that she drove to her rendezvous with him in the right-hand drive, monstrously large SUV. It’s unclear if the Mega belongs to her, to West, or was just borrowed. But it sure is Mega.
The Mega Cruiser was built by Toyota or use by the Japanese Self Defense Forces as sort of a JDM Humvee. Introduced during 1995, early run models are now eligible to be imported into the United States under the 25 year-old vehicle exemption. A 1996 left-hand drive conversion Mega sold on Doug DeMuro’s Cars & Bids web site last October for $310,000. The last, of about 3000, Mega Cruisers was built in 2001.
And the Mega Cruiser is huge. It’s 133.7-inch wheelbase is a 21.5-inches longer than that of the current Lexus LX600 full-size SUV. At 85.4-inches wide, it’s 7.1-inches wider than that Lexus too. The curb weight for the most basic version is over three tons, but it goes up from there for specialized models like the missile launcher edition. But despite all that mass, the powerplant is a 4.1-liter turbodiesel four rated at only about 154 hp. It’s mated to a four-speed automatic transmission… so no, it’s not quick.
In compensation it can go almost anywhere (slowly). It has front, center and rear locking differentials, a two-speed transfer case, a centralized tire inflation system, and four-wheel steering. Toyota sold some civilian versions, but this ogre was built to military specification and military utility.
West, of course, was married to Kim Kardashian and the Kardashian clan has a had a long-running love affair with that civilianized army truck the Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen seemingly for decades. But the celebrity-military vehicular industrial complex actually bloomed (and complexes do bloom) back in June of 1990 when Arnold Schwarzenegger acquired a Humvee and then practically willed the civilian Hummer market and brand to life. It seems unlikely that West and/or Censori will have the same effect on the demand for Mega Cruisers.
You Might Also Like