Toyota is expanding its commercial vehicle lineup with the introduction of the Hilux Champ, a pickup-based vehicle which can be further customized for a large number of commercial or lifestyle purposes.
The Japanese automaker plans to sell 1,500 units of the new model per month, with deliveries to commence in January 2024. Prices for the new Hilux Champ model ranges from Bt459,000 to Bt577,000 for the base model, which can be converted for various uses.
The official launch of the Hilux Champ, which is based on the IMV 0 concept introduced by former Toyota chairman Akio Toyota in Bangkok late last year, was held today at its Thai headquarters located on Bangna-Trat road.
The IMV project was first announced back in 2002 as a new platform for pickup trucks, SUVs and vans. By 2004, the first products were introduced including the seventh-generation Hilux pickup, Innova MPV and Fortuner SUV.
Toyoda said during Toyota’s 60th Anniversary event in Thailand last year, ““For me, the Hilux Vigo launch remains one of the fondest memories of my career,” Toyoda, who was involved in the development of the original project, added. “So as a way of saying thank you, I decided to create a brand new IMV pick-up trucks for Thailand, which are the IMV 0 Concept and Hilux Revo BEV Concept. Between them, they represent two different ends of the automotive spectrum, for different needs and different customers. One is designed to support economic growth, and the other one designed to support carbon neutrality and a better environment for all.”
For private use, customers can turn the truck into a motor home, camping vehicle or even a sporty concept. Meanwhile, commercial conversions include delivery truck, refrigerated truck food and drink trucks as well as mobile crane truck.
While the Champ is based on the Hilux pickup truck platform, it features a funky front-end design that gives it an eye-catching and modern appearance.
Short wheelbase, long-wheelbase, cab & chassis as well as standard pickup bed (with three-way access) variants are offered along with three engine choices – 2.0-liter gasoline (139hp, 183Nm), 2.7-liter gasoline (166hp, 245Nm) and 2.4-liter turbo diesel (150hp,343Nm). Both 5-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission choices are also available.
Apart from the updated front end, the Hilux Champ features a newly-designed console that matches the front-end design in terms of styling.
Supakorn Ratanawaraha, vice president of Toyota Motor Thailand Co Ltd, said, “Apart from the flat pickup bed that is accessible from three directions, the highlights of the Hilux Champ also include the capability of being easily converted for various uses. This makes it ideal for startup businesses or large corporations, or even for those looking for a lifestyle vehicle.”
“In order to develop products that meet the needs of Thai customers as much as possible, our engineering team has been collecting in-depth perspectives from expert car modification operators as well as common problems encountered in this type of vehicle.”
He said the Hilux Champ has been developed so that it can be easily modified quickly and with lower cost, leading to increased profits.
Toyota worked with a large number of vehicle modifiers in offering customers a large variety of conversions. They include Carryboy (Motorhome and Dry Box), MPC Cool (Cool Box), Cuberyder (Knockdown Mobile Business Truck), MKC (2 Sides Mobile Business Truck), Tadano (Mobile Crane), TJM (Camping Car), as well as ECU Shop and PSP Shop (Street Package).