Toyota’s new ‘Hilux Champ’ bakkie could cost under R200,000 in some markets

Published Nov 13, 2023


Toyota’s upcoming affordable bakkie, which is likely to be called the Hilux Champ, is taking shape and now we’re getting a better idea of how affordable it could be in certain markets.

Although the budget workhorse has yet to be revealed in showroom guise, it has been shown in prototype form at various motor shows across Asia this year where it has carried the names IMV-0 and Rangga.

International media got up close and personal with the new van at the recent Tokyo Mobility Show, and now it’s being reported that pricing in its home market of Thailand will start at the equivalent of $10,000 US dollars, or R186,000 at today’s exchange rate.

Keep in mind however, that this is in no way indicative of what the bakkie might eventually sell for in South Africa. For starters it’s been reported that base models in some markets will lack all the basic comfort and safety features, including airbags and ABS brakes, and we’d certainly like to assume that Toyota SA Motors (TSAM) has more regard for human life.

Although the IMV-0 production model has yet to be officially confirmed for South Africa, its introduction has been strongly hinted at, as IOL reported earlier this year. The company said it was looking at introducing a bakkie that was “in the same space but more affordable than the Hilux,” around 2025 or 2026, and local production was also under consideration.

Although it’s unlikely that TSAM could introduce it at under R200,000, given the higher demands of local customers, the vehicle should be significantly cheaper than the regular Hilux, which currently starts at R356,000 in South Africa.

According to Road & Track, the new bakkie will be powered by the same 2.0-litre normally aspirated petrol engine that does duty in the base Hilux, with 102kW and 183Nm on offer. A diesel will also be added to the line-up, which we presume will be the current 2.4 GD-6, and four-wheel drive will reportedly be available too.

Toyota hasn’t mentioned many other technical details, but we do know that it shares its 3,085mm wheelbase with the current Hilux, while its overall width is just 15mm narrower.

The IMV-0 was designed to be many things to many people, with bolt-on parts that make it easily customisable. The front fenders and bumper, for instance, are easy to remove and replace, and the same goes for the rear chassis, which allows for numerous load bed configurations to be bolted on.

Jimny who?

The Rangga concept vehicles shown off in Indonesia back in August show the multitude of possibilities.

Although the vehicle has been named IMV-0 (denoting the Hilux architecture that underpins it) and Rangga (a historic name for small utes in Indonesia), in most markets it’s likely to be called the Toyota Hilux Champ. It was spied with this name on Thai streets recently.

It remains to be seen what the South African version will be called however. There’s considerable equity in the Hilux nameplate, but there’s also a danger of the company’s fancier double cabs being cheapened by a vehicle so utilitarian. And then what will Nissan fans say about a Toyota Champ?

Stallion could be an interesting alternative though..

IOL Motoring