Hilux Champ is the Tamaraw for PH

Toyota's newest modular pickup truck is now ready to serve commercial businesses in the region.

Making its world debut in Thailand is the Toyota Hilux Champ – the much-awaited utilitarian vehicle that will be known as the next-generation Tamaraw in the Philippines.

Next-gen Tamaraw: 2024 Toyota Hilux Champ makes ASEAN debut image

In the Land of Smiles, the Hilux Champ arrives with a long wheelbase and short wheelbase version, with three engine options to choose from. Toyota Motor Thailand showcased the new pickup truck in various configurations to demonstrate the versatility of the Hilux Champ's modular platform.

Next-gen Tamaraw: 2024 Toyota Hilux Champ makes ASEAN debut image

Size-wise, the short wheelbase version of the Hilux Champ measures 4970 mm long, 1785 mm wide, and 1735 mm tall. It has a 2750 mm wheelbase, and its truck bed dimensions are 2312 mm x 1711 x 327 mm. On the other hand, the long wheelbase version stretches the truck to 5300 mm long and has a wheelbase of 3085 mm. The extended length is also apparent on the truck bed as it is 362 mm longer than the SWB Hilux Champ.

Next-gen Tamaraw: 2024 Toyota Hilux Champ makes ASEAN debut image

On the outside, the Hilux Champ retains much of the design cues of the IMV-0 Concept. The boxy shape and the front fascia that remind us of the Land Cruiser 70 and FJ Cruiser made it to the production version.

Next-gen Tamaraw: 2024 Toyota Hilux Champ makes ASEAN debut image

The cabin itself is also very utilitarian, featuring hard and durable plastics on the dashboard and door cards, with orange accents found on the A/C vents.

The Hilux Champ has three engines to choose from – two gasoline, and one diesel. Starting off with the base 2.0-liter gas engine, the 1TR-FE puts out 139 PS and 183 Nm of torque. Meanwhile, those who are familiar with the Fortuner and Hilux gas from yesteryears will recognize the 2TR-FE. It's the 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 166 PS and 245 Nm of torque.

Next-gen Tamaraw: 2024 Toyota Hilux Champ makes ASEAN debut image

Lastly, diesel power comes from the 2.4-liter unit called the 2GD-FTV. It makes 150 PS and 343 Nm of torque when paired to a 5-speed manual transmission, while the 6-speed auto gets a higher torque output at 400 Nm.

In a prior announcement, Toyota said it would be priced lower than the existing Hilux Revo. Now that it made its debut, the price of the Hilux Champ in Thailand starts at 459,000 baht (PHP 725k in today's exchanges) for the short wheelbase 5MT 2.0 gas version, while the cheapest diesel-powered Hilux Champ goes for as low as 499,000 baht (PHP 788k) for the cab and chassis variant.

Next-gen Tamaraw: 2024 Toyota Hilux Champ makes ASEAN debut image

The next question now is, when will the Philippines launch the IMV-0? According to an anonymous source, it could be as early as Q1 2024. If that is indeed true, then we won't be waiting too long for the return of the Tamaraw to serve as a business workhorse.