The Toyota Hiace is perhaps the quintessential people carrier that can ferry your entire extended family, while still have enough space to carry plenty of luggage. It's a workhorse through and through and has become a staple on Philippine roads for years.
While it can easily cover hundreds of kilometers, the Hiace is not exactly the type of vehicle that you can convert into a 4x4 machine...unless you happen to be EnduroCo, a 4x4 specialist based out in Australia. The company only modifies two vehicles, the Toyota Hiace (both old and new), as well as the Coaster mini-bus.
With the motto 'Wherever you want to go', EnduroCo's goal is to make every Hiace / people carrier capable of going anywhere no matter the terrain. In order to prove that statement, the company recently revealed their toughest, and most capable modified 4WD Hiace. Built for one of their customers, this Hiace is equipped to the hilt with almost every available 4x4 upgrade.
So what did they exactly do to this particular Hiace? For starters it now has an air snorkel, full steel front and rear bumper, a front bull bar, front and rear power winches, as well as skid plates to protect the chassis. It has also been outfitted with rock sliders (which also double as stepboards), 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires, and an additional rear-mounted spare tire carrier.
Aside from those upgrades, EnduroCo also uprated the van's suspension system by giving it heavy duty springs, upgraded dampers, as well as a 140mm lift (about 5.5 inches). Combined with the bigger wheels and tires, this gives the people carrier a taller ride height, better ground clearance, and improved water wading depth too. Also part of the package is a heavy-duty differential, along with front and rear locking differentials for better off-road performance.
This van will soon be fitted out as a motor home, which means that it will also have some amenities and features in order for the customer to feel right at home even while in the great outdoors. Whatever those upgrades may be, we're hoping it will keep the family safe and comfortable wherever they may be.
For those that have always wanted to make a van that could go anywhere, perhaps EnduroCo's latest build will serve as an inspiration.