In August 2020, we broke the news that Toyota is seriously considering the launch of its hardy pick-up truck, the Hilux, which is based on the same IMV-2 platform as the Innova Crysta and Fortuner. The Toyota Hilux will directly rival the Isuzu V-Cross, which has been the only pick-up truck offering on sale in India, and Toyota is eyeing the niche set of buyers which this type of body style attracts.
Toyota Hilux could launch in the coming months
Parts-sharing will keep a check on costs
Toyota could adopt an aggressive pricing strategy
Toyota Hilux: exterior details
Measuring nearly 5.3m in length and having a wheelbase of over 3m, this pick-up truck is much longer than the Innova and Fortuner, and similar in size to the Isuzu V-Cross. To haul heavy load on its cargo bed, this Toyota is equipped with leaf-spring suspension at the rear, compared to the coil spring setup in the MPV and SUV. On the outside, the Hilux will sport an oversize hexagonal front grille, flanked by swept-back headlamps, which are likely to be bi-beam LED projector with DRLs in the higher variants. Alloy wheels, LED tail-lamps and splashes of chrome treatment could be included in the top-spec versions. This pick-up truck will get a double cab, but it remains to be seen whether Toyota will follow a strategy similar to Isuzu’s and introduce a single cab for the commercial vehicle segment.
Toyota Hilux: interior details
In order to keep a check on costs, several interior bits will be shared with the locally produced Innova and Fortuner. The Hilux is likely to come with similar front seats as the Fortuner and higher variants will feature an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, among other features. The list of safety features included in the India-spec version will be revealed closer to the launch, however what’s reassuring is that the Thai-spec Hilux recently secured a 5-star rating in ASEAN NCAP crash tests.
Toyota Hilux: engines and transmissions
Toyota could offer the Hilux with the Innova’s 150hp, 2.4-litre diesel engine and two-wheel drive in the entry-level variants to keep costs aggressive, while the higher versions will get a 204hp, 2.8-litre diesel engine from the Fortuner, mated to either a manual or automatic transmission, with two- or four-wheel drive. The Hilux features shorter gearing, which makes it more suited to haul heavy cargo, and its idling revs at just 680rpm, will help this truck sail through low-traction situations when paired with its four-wheel-drive capability.
Toyota Hilux: expected price in India
Insiders at Toyota have hinted at an aggressive introductory pricing, and keeping a check on costs isn’t too difficult either as a large percentage of parts will be shared with locally produced models like the Innova and Fortuner. Recently, Isuzu launched the Hi-Lander and V-Cross pick-up truck in the price range of Rs 16.98-24.49 lakh, but it remains to be seen whether Toyota will undercut its rival or will it price the Hilux at par or at a premium.
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