By Steve & Tamami Laser
As we previously reported, the new generation Toyota HiAce with its “semi-bonnet” design (below) will soon be heading to international markets, including Australia.
Since its launch in 1967, Toyota has sold more than 6.24 million HiAce vans in 150 countries. Now comes word from Toyota Australia that something really special will be joining the new lineup in the land Down Under.
The “World’s first HiAce Convertible” (above) was revealed in Australia on April 1 (it’s tomorrow there now). To help commemorate the launch of the new HiAce range that goes on sale next month, Brodie Bott, head of public affairs for Toyota Australia, has announced that the new limited-edition soft-top convertible will be made exclusively for the Australian market.
“Not only is it a vehicle that can navigate busy city streets and get you from A-to-B in comfort and safety, it also gives you the freedom to open up the roof and head down the coast for a weekend getaway,” said Bott. “The groundbreaking shape of the new HiAce with its semi-bonnet and stiffer frame lends itself perfectly to a convertible design.”
But wait, there’s more good news: The HiAce Convertible will offer an exciting new option called “PieAce.” This built-in pie oven, neatly hidden behind the rear tailgate, includes four racks and is said to reach a top temperature of 250°C.
“The PieAce allows busy tradespeople and couriers, who are often on the road all day, to nourish their bodies with a hearty Aussie favorite, the meat pie,” said Bott. “It works a lot like a slow cooker. All you do is pop an uncooked pie or sausage roll in the PieAce, set it to the desired temperature using buttons on the steering wheel, and away you go.”
An added convenience is an alarm on the dash that alerts the driver when the pie is cooked and ready to eat. And with safety in mind, the vehicle must be brought to a complete stop to access the PieAce and retrieve a tasty lunch.
Happy April Fools’ Day from our friends at Toyota Australia
Flashback to the Toyota Alphard Hercule Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show
By the way, there really was a convertible Toyota van, and this is not a joke. We saw it with our own eyes at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2015. Here’s the story:
It was a shock to turn a corner and encounter one of the most distinctive faces in this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. Toyota Auto Body is a 70-year-old company within the Toyota Group that builds minivans, SUVs and commercial vehicles.
One of the vans it makes is called the Toyota Alphard, a popular midsize van in Japan that was restyled this year along with its sister ship called Vellfire. Toyota Auto Body took the former and created a one-of-a-kind “land yacht” concept dubbed Alphard Hercule that made its debut in Tokyo.
Join us for a quick walkaround look at Toyota Auto Body’s unique Alhpard Hercule concept in our above video from the Tokyo Motor Show. (video © CarNichiWa.com)
The company says that the concept’s name pays homage to Port Hercule, a yacht harbor in the Principality of Monaco, and also from Hercules in Greek myth, whose name means “unrivaled strength.”
“The Alphard Hercule Concept is sure to entice you to spend a splendid holiday just like you have seen in the movies,” said Takahiro Iwase, president of Toyota Auto Body, during the company’s press conference. “Kick back in the large, lounge sofa and share a glass of champagne with your friends.”
This open cruiser is equipped with a sophisticated interior that “offers a premium sense of freedom and openness,” and is “ideally suited to spending a holiday such as this.”
As we stared at the concept, we watched the large retractable soft top open to reveal a sparkling white yacht-like wood-trimmed cabin. The vehicle’s floor mimics hardwood flooring while a lounge-style sofa for the third-row creates a spiffy look that resembles the cabin of a yacht.
The huge front grille and aerodynamic components on the roof are said to contribute to the marine cruiser ambience, while “an elegant style is evoked through the azure bodyside graphics in the image of the wind and waves.”
News source and photos for HiAce Convertible and PieAce courtesy Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited
Story (text) © 2019 CarNichiWa.com
Toyota Alphard Hercule concept photos and video © 2015 CarNichiWa.com