An all-new ‘kei’ mini truck was unveiled in Japan this week, destined to be sold under the banners of three Japanese carmakers.
Besides differing names and badges, the one model range will be sold from the showrooms of all three participants with virtually identical styling.
Under Japanese kei car rules, a model must be a two-seater with an engine not greater than 660cc in capacity, producing no more than 47kW.
And that’s exactly what buyers will get with these three new models - in this case, a two-seater pickup with a 658cc DOHC three-cylinder petrol engine.
Five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions are available, matched with either rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive.
The 2WD manual version is the lightest at 742kg, and also the most economical with an official fuel figure of 6.1 l/100km on the Japanese testing cycle.
Daihatsu was primarily responsible for the new model’s development, but parent company Toyota is ensuring it and the part-owned Subaru brand also benefit.
Pricing for the Daihatsu Hijet starts from AU$11,516 for the 2WD manual, rising to AU$14,715 for the 4WD automatic. What Toyota and Subaru decide to charge for their versions in the Japanese market is unclear at this stage.
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