Toyota's new van has gone official, with new 2.8-litre diesel and 3.5-litre petrol engines, a fresh spread of transmissions, a more upmarket interior and better safety.
Toyota has officially unveiled its 2019 HiAce van, just days after leaked images of the hotly-anticipated load-lugger revealed its snub nose and more modern face.
When it arrives locally in mid-2019, the HiAce is expected to carry a five-star ANCAP rating in its safest guise. Toyota says the switch to a 'semi-bonneted design' has allowed it to fit new engines, create a more rigid frame, and offer more pliant suspension.
On the technology front, Toyota has confirmed the new HiAce will be offered with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, a rear-view camera, nine airbags (depending on model, naturally), and an optional digital rear-view mirror.
Initially, the van will be offered in a few different configurations: a two-seater in long- and super-long wheelbase guise, a five-seat long-wheelbase crew van, and 12-seat super-long wheelbase Commuter buses.
Power will come from a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel or 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated V6 petrol, both offered with a choice of six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
At its most accomodating, the new HiAce will offer a load bay measuring between 6.2 and 9.3 cubic metres, thanks to the longer wheelbase and packaging changes designed to free up more space without increasing exterior width.
The SLWB model will even accomodate an Australian pallet through its wider sliding doors. Towing capacity is up to 1900kg on some models, an improvement of 500kg, while Toyota is touting the car's new suspension for its ability to mix handling, stability and a comfortable ride.
According to the company's official materials, the leaf spring's span has increased by 200mm, for a 30mm longer bound stroke and, in turn, a smoother ride.
Toyota says the new HiAce will be arriving in local showrooms in mid-2019, with pricing and specifications data to be revealed closer to launch.