You’ve seen the miraa transporters do it; turn a sharp corner at full speed by taking on the curve quickly and firmly on the inside. The vehicle tips to one side but once the corner is done, it is back on all fours and the 2 tonne cargo load, is delivered at the Wilson airport in no time.
By modifying the rear lock springs to take on a bigger load, the transporters create powerful machines out of the Toyota Hilux.
Specified tyres also zoom past at close to the maximum speed of 200kph, as the traders push the Hiluxs as far as they can go, and the cycle doesn’t end until 5,000 kilometres are up for a petrol car and 3,000 kilometres for diesel. That’s when its due for a service. After that the cycle starts again.
“If you buy a new car, it can serve you till you die,” claims Samuel Maina, Assistant Manager for Sales and Stock Planning at Toyota Kenya, who says a good car must be maintained from the get-go.
“It is very popular amongst the SMEs, because they utilise it the most,” he adds, explaining that the elongated back is intended to offer more stability when carrying heavier loads.
At sales of roughly 200 units a month, the Toyota Hilux is an un-touchable when it comes to pick-ups.
Generating enough power from a Turbo Common Rail 2.5 litre engine to carry up to 1.5 tonnes, the single-cabin Hilux is sturdy, convenient and quite pocket friendly.
With $29,980 exchanged at sh86 to a dollar, you can have a new functional toy to play with. The 2012 model has a sexy new feline shape at the front, fitted snugly with halogen lights that are held together by a black border made of reinforced plastic.
Delivered locally mostly in manual transmission for better control over the vehicle, and to easily manage speed, Toyota Kenya are now considering pimping out the basic interiors of the Hilux to appeal to a wider audience.
“The trend around the world is to make this type of car beautiful as well as useful, and we are looking to accommodate that,” said Maina.
And here’s what the new model looks like on the road. We took it on a test drive on Nairobi’s newly refurbished highways. Please note that the fluid corners can only be taken after several hours of practice.