Rumours about the Toyota Hilux pickup truck making it to India have been rife for quite some time now. It has even been spotted testing on our roads on a couple of occasions. The Toyota Hilux is based on the same IMV-2 platform as the Innova Crysta and the Fortuner. For the longest time, the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross has been the sole pickup truck on sale in India, but Toyota is now seriously eyeing this niche set of customers which this body style is likely to attract. While we are still awaiting an official confirmation from the Japanese carmaker, here's what you can expect from the Toyota Hilux in India, when it is eventually launched.
Toyota Hilux - Exterior Design
While the Toyota Hilux may be based on the same platform as the Fortuner, it's not simply a pickup version of the latter. Measuring nearly 5.3 meters in length and with a wheelbase of over 3 meters, the Hilux is much larger than either the Innova or Fortuner and much closer to the Isuzu D-Max. Being a load carrier, the rear suspension setup of the Hilux consists of heavy-duty leaf springs as compared to the coil spring setup in the regular Fortuner.
Size aside, the Hilux still looks butch and intimidating. The face is characterized by an oversized hexagonal grille and swept-back headlamps, which will likely be bi-beam LED projector with DRLs in the higher variants. There's plenty of funky body cladding on the face, over the wheel arches and at the rear, giving the Hilux its typical rugged look. The pickup body style itself is very eye-catching and Toyota can certainly boast of a much more aesthetic job than Isuzu. The Hilux will be offered as a double-cab pickup here in India.
Toyota Hilux - Interior Design
While the Toyota Hilux will have its own unique identity on the outside, we expect the interior of the India-spec Hilux to be largely similar to the Fortuner and the Innova. To keep costs in check, a lot of interior bits and equipment will most certainly be shared. You can expect the new 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay from the updated Fortuner to be offered on the Hilux. The instrument console, HVAC controls, steering wheel, etc is also likely to be shared with the Fortuner. It's also worth noting that the Thai-spec Hilux recently secured a 5-star safety rating from ASEAN NCAP.
Toyota Hilux - Engine Options
Toyota could offer two engine options under the hood of the Hilux in India - the first could be the 150hp 2.4L diesel engine from the Fortuner. This could be offered with a two-wheel drive setup in the entry-level variants to keep the entry price aggressive. Higher variants could be offered with the Fortuner's 204hp 2.8L diesel engine with two- or four-wheel drive, along with manual and automatic gearbox options. Toyota has also incorporated shorter gearing for the first three gears, which is more suited to load carrying, and it idles at just 680 rpm. This should help the truck sail through low-traction situations when paired with its four-wheel-drive capability.
Toyota Hilux - Price Expectations
Given the fact that the Hilux will be sharing a lot of components with the Fortuner and the Innova, including the chassis, powertrain options, and interior and exterior elements, Toyota should be able to achieve an aggressive price positioning for the Hilux in India. For your reference, the BS6 Isuzu D-Max is priced between INR 16.98-24.49 lakh (ex-showroom) and being the only rival currently, it remains to be seen how Toyota positions the Hilux relative to the Isuzu.