Toyota's affordable truck has gone on sale in Thailand, and Mercedes' heritage boss explains that ICE is not the firm's heritage.
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2024 Toyota Hilux Champ Is An Impressively Cheap Truck
Tired of reading about luxury trucks that cost nearly six figures? Toyota has a refreshingly cheap pickup now on sale in Thailand. It's called the Hilux Champ and it's essentially a production version of the IMV 0 concept we saw at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show. It starts at a gloriously low 459,000 baht, which works out to $13,070 or €11,930 at current exchange rates. Even the most expensive configuration only costs 577,000 baht ($16,430 or €15,000).
Paint options are limited to white, silver, or grey, but you can still pick from several body styles. The utilitarian vehicle can be transformed into an RV, a food truck, a medical van (with a refrigerator), or a camper with a roof-mounted tent. Depending on what you want, these conversions cost from 80,000 baht (about $2,300) for the van to as much as 2,000,000 baht ($57,000) for the RV.
2024 Toyota Hilux Champ
Toyota Thailand will sell the Hilux Champ in eight different trim levels including short and long wheelbase lengths, and a spartan variant without a bed. Power comes from 2.0- and 2.7-liter gas engines and a 2.4-liter diesel, with the output routed to the wheels via a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.
As for weight, the long-wheelbase model with a bed and the diesel tips the scales at 6,150 pounds (2,790 kilograms). And this truck is only 208.6 inches (5300 millimeters) long, 70.2 in (1785 mm) wide, and 68.3 in (1735 mm) tall, with a wheelbase of 121.4 in (3085 mm). With the diesel engine, the two-seat Hilux Champ it has a maximum payload capacity of 2,204 pounds (1,000 kilograms). The truck is made locally at the Samrong Plant, and Toyota says it has over 100 compatible accessories.
Mercedes Believes The Internal Combustion Engine Is Not Its Heritage
In an extended interview with Top Gear magazine, the Head Of Mercedes-Benz Heritage said: "Our heritage is not the combustion engine, it's producing breakthrough technologies at the highest quality to serve people's needs. We're doing that again as the world embraces electrification." Marcus Breitschwerdt went on to say: "The combustion engine is not the decreed technology, we're looking for the best solution, the breakthrough technology. As we always have."
Per a statement made in mid-2021, Mercedes will be ready to go purely electric by 2030 "where market conditions allow." In an interview with Reuters at the 2023 IAA Mobility Show in Munich at the beginning of September, CEO Ola Källenius projected Europe won't be ready for an all-electric Mercedes lineup by the end of this decade.