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The Toyota HiLux has a new baby sibling, dubbed ‘Champ’ in its home country of Thailand where the diminutive ute has debuted overnight.
The Toyota HiLux Champ, or IMV 0 as the brand is also calling it (for ‘Innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicle’), is focused on meeting “the needs of the era and the local community”, and as such is built to a simple level and low cost for developing regions.
Toyota says prices range from 459,000 to 577,000 baht (the equivalent of AU$19,800 to $24,900), but the range is built for customisation and versatility.
Eight grades are available “with an emphasis on covering a variety of business styles and uses”, with short- and long-wheelbase versions and choice of three engines.
A choice of 2.0- or 2.7-litre petrol engines are available as well as a 2.4-litre diesel engine, while Toyota says “an unequipped type” is also available with no tray to maximise customisation options.
“The deck has bolt holes at various locations so that custom accessories can be easily attached using bolts and nuts,” Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) says.
“In addition, for those customers who request customization, TMT can provide information on more than 100 accessory manufacturers so that each customer can enjoy personalised customization.”
The Champ will be built at the brand’s Samrong Plant in Thailand, run by TMT, where the regular HiLux is also produced with orders open for the smaller model in its home nation.
The likelihood of the HiLux Champ making it to Australia, however, is just about zero - while there’s not much information from the brand in the way of safety features, the size and built-to-price nature of the Champ means it’s unlikely to meet ADR standards here.
While its longest version (5300mm long, 1785mm wide, 1735mm tall with a 3085mm wheelbase) is about the same size as a single-cab regular HiLux, the lack of a list of modern active safety features suggests a relatively minimal amount of kit. Its press imagery does appear to show at least an SRS airbag for the passenger as well as the driver.