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 KEI – TRUCKS (軽トラ) ‘kei-tora

 [ The Daihatsu Hijet & Atrai ]

Related image  The Daihatsu Hijet (1960 ~)  DaihatsuHijet123.jpg

The Daihatsu Hijet is available in micro-van and pick-up truck form and has been in continuous production for 56 years.  The first Hijet had a displacement of 360cc, after new regulations in 1976 it was increased to 550cc and again in 1990 to 660cc.  Export versions have usually been slightly larger as bigger bumpers and sometimes wider bodies are fitted.  The Daihatsu Hijet passenger version Atrai is inextricably linked to the Hijet and is included in the write-ups where relevant.


(L35 / L36) 1st Generation Hijet (1960 – 1966)

1963 & 1964 model Hijets:  Daihatsu Hijet 1st.JPG  (front engine layout)

The first truck  appeared in November 1960, with the enclosed van following in 1961.  The front engine, rear drive configuration with the driver sitting behind the engine, reduced the available load space considerably.

[ 356cc ZL air-cooled 2-stroke i2 (inline twin) 3-speed manual ]

[ 356cc ZM water-cooled 2-stroke i2 engine, 3-speed manual ]


(S35 / S36) 2nd Generation Hijet (1964 – 1968)

1964 Hijet:  Daihatsu Hijet 2nd.JPG  S36 (Van)

To maximise cargo carrying space while still staying in the kei-class regulations, a cab over approach was adopted in 1964, offering buyers the choice between the 1st Generation style and the new cab over style.

( 356cc ZM water-cooled 2-stroke i2 engine, 3-speed manual ]


(S37) 3rd Generation Hijet (1968 – 1972)

1968 Highjet:  Hijet-S37.jpg  S37 (Truck)

The 3rd Generation saw minor improvements including forward hinged doors instead of the previous suicide  rear opening type.  The design was  boxier, with a more wedgy frontal appearance.  The 3rd Generation was also offered as an all-electric truck & van.

( 356cc ZM water-cooled 2-stroke i2 engine, 3-speed manual )

G e n e r a t i o n s   1 – 3   (1960 – 1976)

Length: 2,995 mm (118 in)       Width: 1,295 mm (51 in)  

Height: 1,615 mm (64 in)


(S38 / S40) 4th Generation Hijet (1971 – 1981)

S38 (Truck)    ‘1971‘    S38 (Van)

In September 1971 the 4th Generation Hijet appeared, with all-new sheet metal, initially available only as a truck.  The engine remained the ZM 360 cc 2-stroke 2-cylinder, while the rear suspension reverted to a live, leaf-sprung unit.  In February 1972 a new van was presented, originally marketed as the Slide Van as it now featured sliding doors on both sides in addition to a top-hinged tailgate.  In September 1974 the front clip and rear bumper underwent light changes to accommodate full-size yellow license plates, before that kei-cars had been equipped with smaller plates than normal.

1976 Hijet:  Daihatsu Hijet S40 Van.jpg  S40 (Van)

In October 1976 the 4-stroke Hijet 550 appeared, with the new 550cc AB20 engine taking full advantage of the recent new kei regulations.  Bigger bumpers meant that all Hijets built after this date were slightly longer, the 360 received the same external changes at the same time, including a new front clip.  To reflect the new engine, the 550 received the new chassis code S40.  In export trim, where it was sold as the Daihatsu 550 Cab and Cab-Van, this engine had 30 PS (22 kW) @ 5,500 rpm, and 4.2 kg/m (41 N/m, 30 lb/ft) @ 4,000 rpm.  The 550 Van had an advantage of a higher carrying capacity than the 360 Van, at 350kg (772 lb) rather than the 300kg (661 lb) of the 360.

Less than a year after the introduction of the 550, the wider and longer Hijet Wide 55 (S60) appeared, but the Hijet 550 continued in production and even underwent a facelift in April 1979 and now carried a blacked out grille.  In April 1981 the 4-stroke S40 Hijet 550 was discontinued, but the 2-stroke S38 continued to be available until August 1981 as a low-cost version.  The 2-stroke was also popular in many Southeast Asian markets, where emissions regulations were more lax and its lower purchasing price had a bigger impact.

(547cc AB20 OHC i2, 4-speed manual)

4 th  G e n e r a t i o n  (post 1976)

Length: Truck 3,045 mm (120 in)   Van 3,090 mm (122 in)

Width: 1,295 mm (51 in)       Height: 1,615 mm (64 in)


(S60) 5th Generation Hijet (1977 – 1981)

1980 – 1981 Face lifted:  Hijet 55 Wide front.jpg  (55 Wide)

In April 1977, production of the truck version of the 5th Generation began.  Called the Hijet Wide 55, to draw attention to its wider body and bigger 550 cc engine, this was the first Hijet to reach export markets in any serious numbers.  The 547 cc AB20 was a 4-stroke, water-cooled 2-cylinder unit with a single overhead camshaft (SOHC) and balance axle.  Power output is 28 PS (21 kW) @ 5,500 rpm, while max torque is 4.0 kg/m (39 N/m; 29 lb/ft) @ 3,500 rpm.  Export versions, which had to face less stringent emissions requirements, offered 30 PS (22 kW) at the same engine speed and 4.2 kg/m (41 N/m; 30 lb/ft) @ 4,000 rpm.  The only transmission installed was a 4-speed manual with a floor-mounted gear change.   Export versions could reach a claimed 105 kph (65 mph) top speed.

The engine is mid-mounted just behind the front axle, and access is gained by simply lifting the front seats.  The chassis code is S60, with the succeeding letter P signifying a simple pickup bed with one opening flap, T for the 3-way dropside pickup, and V for the van.

Three months after the introduction of the pickups in June 1977, a glassed van with sliding doors and also a panel van version were released.  The panel van was simply a truck with a box mounted on the rear, this version was not exported.  For export, a van version without windows or rear seats was preferred.  A low floor dropside bed was added in December 1977, and a minor facelift took place in September 1978.  The changes were limited to different coloured bumpers and headlight surrounds, and a changed metal grille insert featuring a larger D logo.  All versions were available in either Standard or Super DeLuxe trims, but in March 1979 a comparatively luxurious Custom EX version of the light van was added.

In September 1979, the Hijet Wide 55 underwent a more thorough facelift.  A new front clip with a single-piece grille was the most obvious change, while inside there was a new more sculpted dash as well as more comfortable seats which received adjustable backs.  The 2 millionth Hijet was an S60 built during 1980.  Production continued until replaced by the 6th Generation Hijet in 1981.

T h e  5 th  G e n e r a t i o n

Length: 3,195 mm (126 in)          Width: 1,395 mm (55 in)

Height: 1,625 mm (64 in)


(S65 / S70) 6th Generation Hijet (1981 – 1986)

1982 Hijet:  S65Hijet660813 02.jpg  S66 (4WD)

In March 1981 the all-new S65 Hijet appeared, now on a slightly longer wheelbase but with the same AB20 engine.  New was a flat-floor option for the Vans, and also new was a high-roof option.  Power output is 28 PS (21 kW) @ 5,500 rpm, while max torque is 41 N/m (4.2 kg/m, 30 lb/ft) @ 3,500 rpm.  Most mechanicals were originally the same as before, but in March 1982 the S66, a new 4-wheel drive, from October 1983 with optional free-wheel front hubs and front-wheel disc brakes appeared.  There was also an S70 series version of the S65.

Also in 1983 the Hijet Jumbo appeared, as a high-roofed extended cab pickup with a shorter bed.  This meant that there was space for more comfortable seats, with considerable more travel and folding seatbacks.  The resulting rear compartment offered small luggage spaces, a flat-folding passenger seat, and a small luggage rack above.  The 2WD Jumbo was available with a 5th gear, as were some versions of the Atrai passenger van.  There was also a Hijet Climber series in 2 or 4-wheel drive, these were fitted with bigger off-road tyres and a limited-slip differential.

1983 Hijet:    (Jumbo)

The S65 was also sold as the Hijet Atrai Van from September 1981, a version specifically intended for passenger use.  From October 1983 this became a separate model in the Japanese market, where the Atrai remains separate from the more workmanlike Hijets. There was also a handicap accessible version of the Hijet S65V, which could accommodate a folding wheel chair.  The most surprising news was probably the addition of a turbocharged version in February 1984, also available with 4WD.

T h e  6 th  G e n e r a t i o n

Length: 3,195 mm (126 in)            Width: 1,395 mm (55 in)

Height: 1,660 mm (65in)


(S80 / S82) 7th Generation Hijet (1986 – 1993)

1986 Hijet:    S80 (Jumbo)

The 7th Generation Hijet S80 was a gradual development of its predecessor, introduced in May 1986.  The biggest change was the switch to a more modern 3-cylinder engine, the EB, although displacement remained just under 550 cc.  The Japanese market Hijet continued to be available in the Jumbo Cab configuration, but new was the Deck Van,  a version of the 4-door van with a very short cargo bed in the rear.  This version was also sold as the Daihatsu Atrai Deck.

Following new Kei-car regulations in early 1990, the Hijet was updated accordingly.  It gained 10 cms (3.9 in) in overall length and 110cc in displacement.  This was enough to give it a new chassis code S82.  This version continued in production until being replaced by the 8th Generation version in 1994.  In May 1987 a supercharged version with 44 PS (32 kW) appeared in the Hijet truck.  This remained available until the introduction of the larger 660cc engine in March 1990.  The supercharger’s superior torque at low engine speeds made this a natural application for a truck such as the Hijet.  Conversely, the Atrai passenger car versions were available with a more powerful turbo engine right from the start.


(S100/110/120/130) 8th Generation Hijet (1994 – 1998)

1994 Hijet Truck:    S110P (4WD)

The 8th Generation Hijet entered the marketplace in January 1994, after having first been shown at the 30th Tōkyō Motor Show in October 1993, and continued to be built until replaced by the 9th Generation in 1999S100 was used for 2-wheel drive versions, while 4-wheel drive versions were coded S110.  The suffix P was for trucks, C for panel vans, and V for glassed vans.  The passenger oriented Atrai received S120 & S130 chassis codes.  In May the Hijet EV, a fully electric version of the van, appeared, replacing the EV version of the 7th generation Hijet.  A fuel injected,SOHC 6-valve engine with 44 PS (32 kW) (EF-ES) was standard on automatic cars and optional on 5-speed manuals, which otherwise received a carbureted version with 2 hp less.  From January 1996, automatics received a twin-cam 12-valve carburetted version of the EF engine (EF-GS), still with the same power.

In 1995 a Hijet EV Truck appeared, complementing the Van version.  Appearing in October 1997, the Hijet is was a youthful version with sporty design traits, including a blacked out front panel and various body cladding items.  is stood for Idol & Stylish.

The new Atrai’s focus was more on passenger comfort than earlier generations, and had a 3-link independent rear suspension rather than the leaf sprung, live axle of the Hijet.  This is why the Atrai has its own chassis numbers (S120/130).  The Atrai passenger van was available with more powerful turbocharged engines, such as the SOHC 6-valve EF-TS and the twin-cam, 12-valve EF-RS, from January 1997.  Both of these engines nominally remained beneath the 64 PS (47 kW) limit set by Japanese regulators for Kei-cars, but with 13.6% more torque than the lower tuned single-cam, it was clear to all that the EF-RS had considerably more power than acknowledged.  The Turbo SR and later RT models received anti-lock brakes as standard.  In October 1997 the Atrai Classic appeared, this model had a leather interior and key-less entry, among other equipment improvements.


The 9th Generation Hijet (S200)

1999 Hijet Cargo:    (Van)

When the 9th Generation Hijet was introduced in 1999, a divergence between the truck and van versions (Cargo) occurred, with the vans now being of a front-engined semicab design rather than the mid-engined cab-over design retained for the truck.  A 10th Generation of the Hijet Cargo has since appeared, but the 9th Generation of the truck remains in production.  A similar divergence took place in the Suzuki Carry lineup, necessitated by new crash protection legislation enacted for passenger cars.  Since the Hijet Cargo also forms the basis for the passenger use Atrai, it too now has a front-mounted engine.


The 10th Generation Hijet (S320)

Hijet Cargo:    (Van)

The 10th Generation is only available in van form, with the trucks remaining the 9th Generation cabover model.  The passenger car version Atrai, is powered by a 660cc Turbo engine producing 64 PS (47 kW).  Available engines for 2006 include the DVVT equipped 660 cc EF-VE, making 39 kW (53 PS) @ 7,000 rpm and 63 N/m (46 lb/ft) of torque @ 4,000 rpm, and the 660 cc EF-SE, making 33 kW (45 PS) @ 5,900 rpm and 57 N/m (42 lb/ft) of torque @ 3,600 rpm.  The base model is mid-engined with rear-wheel drive, but 4WD versions are also available.

The 10th Generation Van / Microbus as well as the 9th Generation truck have also been marketed in Japan by Toyota since December 2011 as the Toyota Pixis Van & Truck.  The current Hijet, has the new 660cc KF engine.


[ The Hybrid Hijet ]

Related image

In 2002, Daihatsu debuted the Hijet Cargo Hybrid Concept, a hybrid van in Japan using a 660 cc engine. The car is based on the existing non-hybrid Hijet Cargo.  Its design called the Daihatsu Mild Hybrid System‘ (DMHS) is based on Toyota hybrid technology and is quite different from many existing hybrid designs whereas the gas and electric powered components are assembled as one unit.

The DMHS:  Related image  (Drive train)

The electric motor sits between the petrol powered engine and the transmission unit.  The car is 30% more fuel efficient than its petrol powered counterpart.

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