A few months ago, the Indian Army took delivery of the first batch of Toyota Hilux, and now Toyota has delivered custom-built, special-purpose versions of the Hilux pickup truck to the Army. Toyota Kirloskar Motor unveiled the two new modified versions of the Hilux at the North Tech Symposium 2023 (NTS). This is an annual technology showcase organized by the Northern Command of the Indian Army, in collaboration with the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and IIT Jammu.
The newly introduced modified versions of the Hilux are named Field Diagnosis Vehicle (FDV) and Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV). Toyota mentions that the special-purpose Hilux underwent modifications with assistance from an authorized external vendor to make the vehicle more suitable for field use. Before these modifications, Toyota conducted a market survey and, based on the findings, made changes and instructed the external vendors to make the vehicle suitable for multiple uses.
The FDV, or Field Diagnosis Vehicle, has been designed to meet the unique requirements of the Indian Army. This special-purpose vehicle is built to withstand the operational and logistics challenges faced by the army in tough terrains. The FDV was actually designed to offer essential vehicle servicing in remote areas and to improve and strengthen army operations at many defense sites.
The Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV) is simply a modified Hilux meant to be used during emergency situations. The vehicle is equipped with firefighting and rescue operation equipment. Procuring a vehicle for the army is not a simple process. The Army’s Technical Evaluation Committee undertakes a meticulous evaluation process to ensure that the chosen vehicle meets the demanding requirements of the Indian Army. The Toyota Hilux emerged victorious after a comprehensive assessment that tested various parameters such as performance, durability, versatility, and overall suitability for military operations. We are not sure whether the modified version of the Hilux was also tested by the committee, just like the regular version.
The Toyota Hilux is an extremely popular lifestyle pickup truck offered globally. Toyota only launched the Hilux in the Indian market last year. Just like other Toyota products, the Hilux is also known for its reliability. It is also the most expensive pickup truck available for sale in India. A top-end version of the standard Hilux comes with features such as automatic headlamps, LED DRLs, LED tail lamps, a chrome bar on the rear bumper, a chrome beltline, 18-inch alloy wheels, power-folding outside rearview mirrors (ORVMs), leather seats, an 8-way adjustable powered driver seat, a dual-zone climate control system, second-row AC vents, an 8.0-inch infotainment system, a TFT multi-function display, UV-cut glass, and more. It is powered by a 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine capable of producing a maximum power output of 204 PS and peak torque of 420 Nm with the manual transmission, or 500 Nm with the automatic transmission. This is the same engine offered with the Fortuner as well.