Legendary Toyota Hilux to take on Isuzu V-Cross in India

Toyota will soon launch the all-new Urban Cruiser, based on the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza will be launched later this month in the Indian market. The Japanese manufacturer is also looking to expand its model portfolio in India, which currently consists of Glanza, Yaris, Innova Crysta, Fortuner, Camry and Vellfire in the Indian market. Toyota is exploring the possibility of launching its first pick-up truck in India – the Hilux as per ACI.

Pick-up trucks are not very popular in India. The market did not respond very well to the affordable pick-up trucks like the Scorpio Getaway and Tata Xenon in the market. However, the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross has gained quite a popularity. It is the most successful pick-up truck in India. The Hilux, which is internationally acclaimed pick-up truck is on sale in numerous international markets.

Since the Hilux is based on the same IMV platform that underpins the popular cars like Innova Crysta and Fortuner in the Indian market, there would not be much of work before the Hilux starts assembling in India. IMV is a ladder frame platform, however, the construction of the Hilux is very similar to the Innova Crysta and Fortuner. Since both the vehicles are manufactured in India, the Hilux is likely to be manufactured in India.

The Hilux pick-up is much longer than the Fortuner and Innova Crysta and has a longer wheelbase too. To support the load in the pick-up bed, the Hilux gets leaf springs that are very rugged. Toyota powers the Hilux with similar 2.4 and 2.8 engine options but the engine has been retuned to produce more than 500 Nm of peak torque, which is massive. Also, the gear ratios are different in the Hilux compared to the Innova Crysta and the Fortuner since it is designed to be a heavy-duty pick-up.

Toyota is still in evaluative stages in India. It will be launched directly against the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross in the market, which is the most popular lifestyle pick-up in the Indian market. Since Toyota is known for its reliability in India, it is likely to be a popular product when launched. The target customers will be similar to the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross customers.

The price of the Hilux will be crucial to its success in India. Toyota is expected to put a price tag of around Rs 15 lakhs for the base model and around Rs 20 lakhs for the fully-loaded model in the Indian market. Since the Fortuner starts at about Rs 30 lakhs, it will be a great choice for many. Toyota is yet to officially announce the plans for the Hilux. However, if the pick-up gets approval for launch in India, it is likely to happen next year.