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Thread: Daihatsu Hijet (S80 & S82) 1986-2002

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    Feb 2005

    Daihatsu Hijet (S80 & S82) 1986-2002

    The Daihatsu Hijet is a microvan and pickup truck produced by the Japanese automaker Daihatsu. Despite the similarities between the Hijet name and Toyota's naming scheme for its trucks and vans (Hiace and Hilux), the name "Hijet" has been in use for Daihatsu's Kei trucks and vans since 1960, over two decades before Toyota took control. "Hijet", when transliterated into Japanese, is very similar to "Midget", one of Daihatsu's other mini-trucks. The Hijet competes in Japan with the Honda Acty, Subaru Sambar, Mitsubishi Minicab, and the Suzuki Carry.

    The seventh generation Hijet (S80) was a gradual development of its predecessor, introduced in May 1986. The biggest change was the switch to a more modern three-cylinder engine, the EB, although displacement remained just under 550 cc. It was also built in South Korea since 1992, by Asia Motors, as the "Towner". This version was later badged "Kia Towner", subsequent to Kia's takover. These vans were only exported to certain markets (such as Malta and Chile), according to the licensing agreement. Beginning in 1992, Innocenti also built this car for European markets as the "Porter", especially to circumvent restrictions on Japanese imports in some markets like Italy. This version has long outlived the original Hijet and is still in production. Unlike the Hijet, the Porter has also been available with a diesel option.

    The Japanese market Hijet continued to also be available in the "Jumbo Cab" configuration, but new was the "Deck Van" - a version of the four-door van with a very short cargo bed in the rear. This version was also sold as the Daihatsu Atrai Deck. Export market Hijets generally received Daihatsu's familiar 993 cc three-cylinder engine, while domestic versions had to make do with 550 cc due to the strict Kei rules. Following new Kei car regulations in early 1990, the Hijet was updated accordingly. As with all its brethren, it gained ten centimetres (3.9 in) in overall length and 110 cc in displacement. This was enough to give it a new chassis code, S82. This version continued in production until being replaced by the eight 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 660 cc 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 version were available with a more powerful turbo engine right from the start.

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