Thailand is a country of pickups. But it’s not the expensive “two-cabs” with all—wheel drive that dominate here, but simple hard-working pickups with single-row cabins, rear-wheel drive and simple equipment. It was in Thailand that Toyota introduced its unusual Hilux Champ truck. For the first time, its prototype under the name Toyota IMV 0 Concept was shown a year ago, and in an electric car version. The serial version has not yet acquired a traction battery (although such a modification is in the plans), but the design and design have remained virtually unchanged.
Hilux Champ is the case when the content determines the form. Japanese engineers have set themselves the task of creating an extremely utilitarian car. And in accordance with this paradigm, even the exterior is made: simple straight lines, a flat windshield and an abundance of unpainted plastic. A two-piece front mask is made of it, its style clearly refers to the early generations of Toyota Land Cruiser. The headlights can be halogen or LED.
The truck is based on a ladder frame, and the chassis is unified with a Toyota Hilux pickup truck: there is a spring-loaded front suspension with double wishbones and an uncut rear axle on springs, and drum brakes are installed at the rear. The drive is only rear-wheel drive, although unification with a pickup truck makes it possible to make a 4×4 version. The standard wheels are 14—inch stampings, and the ground clearance is 164 mm.
The Hilux Champ has a single-row cabin with a 2+1 seating formula: a wide passenger seat can accommodate two riders. Simplicity and practicality also reign inside: plastic trim is not everywhere (the back wall of the cab is bare metal), the sun visor is only for the driver. There are no multi-inch “TVs”, but there are a variety of niches, shelves and compartments for useful little things in abundance.
The analog dashboard is devoid of a tachometer, and the climate system of cars for Thailand is equipped with air conditioning, but does not have a heater. But there are regular two front airbags and ABS. You can cheer up this salon with orange accents in the decoration. There are connectors for charging devices and power windows.
Toyota Hilux Champ is offered with three engines to choose from, and all of them are already familiar from Hilux pickups. Gasoline atmospheric 2.0 (139 hp, 183 Nm) is available only with a five-speed “mechanics”. The six-speed “automatic” is paired with a senior 2.7 four-cylinder engine (166 hp, 245 Nm). The third option is the 2.4 turbo diesel (150 hp, 343 Nm), which is combined with both gearboxes to choose from.
The maximum load capacity of such a Toyota is one ton. Two variants of the wheelbase are proposed, respectively, the total length of machines with a factory side platform is 4970 mm and 5300 mm. But you can also order a chassis with a cab: engineers have provided a lot of regular holes on the frame for attaching various accessories and add-ons. In Thailand alone, more than 100 manufacturers are ready to offer their options, including car stalls and mobile homes.
Toyota Hilux Champ trucks will be produced at the factory in Thailand’s Samut Prakan, where the usual Hilux is also made. Order acceptance is already open, and Champ turned out to be the cheapest Toyota on the local market: from 459 thousand to 577 thousand baht (13000-16400 dollars). A Toyota Yaris Ativ sedan in Thailand costs from 549 thousand baht, and a Toyota Hilux pickup truck costs from 564 thousand baht. Subsequently, the Hilux Champ should appear in Africa and the Middle East.