10 things you didn’t know about the Toyota Hilux. Exploring the First Generation

Toyota Hilux History at a Glance

The Toyota Hilux, a name synonymous with reliability and durability in the world of pickup trucks, has its roots in the humble beginnings of the first generation, designated as the N10 series. Launched in March 1968, this inaugural model laid the foundation for what would become a legendary line in the world of automotive engineering.

Birth of a Legend: From Concept to Reality

Conceived by Toyota and produced by Hino Motors at its Hamura Plant, the Hilux emerged on the scene as the RN10. Powered by a robust 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine, it boasted a respectable 77 PS (57 kW; 76 hp) in its iteration for the Japanese market. Initially available in short wheelbase form, it quickly captured the imagination of drivers around the world with its combination of performance and reliability.

Market Impact: Redefining Pickup Truck Dynamics

Despite being initially marketed as a luxury vehicle, especially compared to its predecessor, the Stout, the Hilux quickly made its way into the highly competitive pickup truck segment. Designed as a successor to the previous Briska model, it filled the gap between the Stout and older, larger pickup trucks in several markets.

Global Presence: From Japan to North America

While the Hilux gained global recognition, its presence in the North American market played a key role in shaping its identity. Marketed as a replacement for the Toyota Crown, Corona and Corona Mark II-based pickup trucks in Japan, it made a bold statement with its unique combination of performance, reliability and versatility.

Legacy and Beyond: A Lasting Impact

As the first chapter in the renowned history of the Toyota Hilux, the N10 series set a precedent for excellence and innovation in the world of pickup trucks. Its legacy endures to inspire generations of drivers and enthusiasts, serving as a testament to Toyota’s unwavering commitment to quality and craftsmanship.

In conclusion, the first generation Toyota Hilux remains an icon of automotive engineering, embodying the spirit of adventure and reliability that defines the Toyota brand. With its timeless design and unmatched performance, it stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of one of the world’s most beloved pickup trucks.

Evolution in Motion: Toyota Hilux Technical Specifications

ProductionMarch 1968 – April 1972
AssemblyJapan: Hamura, Tokyo (Hino)
United States: Long Beach, California (Atlas Fabricators, final assembly, 1971-1972)
DesignerTakayuki Otsuka
Body Style2-door pickup truck
Engine DesignFront, rear-wheel drive
1.5 L 2R I4
1.6 L 12R I4
1.9 L 8R I4
1.9 L 3R I4
2.0 L 18R I4
Transmission4-speed manual
Length4,300–4,690 mm (169.3–184.6 in)
Width1,610 mm (63.4 in)
He1,560–1,565 mm (61.4–61.6 in)
Empty Weight1,050–1,085 kg (2,314.9–2,392.0 lb)

10 things you didn’t know about the Toyota Hilux

1- When was the first Toyota Hilux launched?

The first Toyota Hilux was launched in March 1968.

2- What is the difference between the Toyota Hilux and the previous model, the Stout?

The Hilux was designed to be more luxurious and modern compared to the Stout, serving as its successor in Toyota’s pickup truck segment.

3- What engine options were available in the first-generation Hilux?

Engine options included inline-four gasoline engines, such as the 1.5L 2R I4 and the 1.6L 12R I4, depending on the market.

4- Where was the Toyota Hilux assembled during its first generation?

The first-generation Toyota Hilux was primarily assembled in Japan, at Hino Motors’ Hamura plant.

5- What does the designation “RN10” mean in the Toyota Hilux?

The designation “RN10” refers to the model code used to identify the first generation of the Toyota Hilux.

6- How many body versions were available for the first-generation Hilux?

Initially, it was offered in a short-wheelbase version, with a long-wheelbase version added later in production.

7- What was the typical fuel efficiency of the first-generation Hilux?

Fuel efficiency varied depending on the engine and driving conditions but was estimated to be around 20-25 miles per gallon under normal conditions.

8- What was the original Toyota Hilux’s payload capacity?

The payload capacity of the first-generation Toyota Hilux varied depending on the configuration but was typically around 500-1000 kilograms.

9- Was the first-generation Hilux sold in North America?

Yes, the first-generation Toyota Hilux was sold in North America, where it contributed to the brand’s growth in the pickup truck market.

10-What transmission options were available for the Hilux during its first generation?

Transmission options included a four-speed manual transmission, which was standard on most models.

Photos: ©Toyota