Toyota launched the Hilux Champ for Thailand last month. It’s a born-and-bred pickup truck capable of serving many needs due to how Toyota designed it. The automaker wanted to keep it affordable and functional, so it decided to have the customer finish building it.

Dr. Jurachart Jongusuk, the chief engineer for Toyota’s IMV platform, described the truck to Road & Track as “70 percent finished,” with the customer completing the final 30 percent. The Champ, the production version of the IMV 0 concept, is a blank canvas for its customers. Toyota teased the possibilities in October at the Japan Mobility Show with a slew of concepts that included an ambulance, a food truck, a vending machine, and other creative uses.

Gallery: 2024 Toyota Hilux Champ

The automaker also helped lower costs by applying its rigorous Toyota Production System to the truck’s supply chain. Engineers visited its suppliers, imparting past knowledge to improve the production process and reduce costs, which resulted in the company going as far as to paint the rear leaf spring shackles in different colors to save money.

The truck’s rear deck features bolt holes so customers can attach whatever they want. Toyota Motor Thailand will also direct owners to over 100 accessory manufacturers who can upfit the Hilux Champ. It’s closer in design to a chassis cab pickup for commercial purposes than a passenger vehicle. It’s designed to work.

The two-wheel-drive Hilux Champ is available in short- and long-wheelbase versions. Customers can pick from three engines: the 2.0- or 2.7-liter gasoline options or the 2.4-liter diesel. It’s available in eight grades with either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, and it can haul up to 2,200 pounds.

It comes with a just flat deck when unequipped, with prices ranging from 459,000 to 577,000 baht ($13,200 to $16,600 at today’s exchange rate). That cost will grow depending on what’s put on the back. The Hilux Champ is an evolution of the Rangga Concept and borrows a ton from the Toyota Kijang from the mid-1970s. Now if only Toyota could make a version for US buyers...

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