Transport

Hino prepares to launch 300 Series 817 4×4

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Prototype Hino 300 Series 4x4 3

Hino is preparing to launch a 4×4 version of its 300 Series light truck.

The Japanese manufacturer says the 4×4 version was specifically developed for the Australian market, with several engineering prototypes undergoing testing here over the past three years to ensure it meets customer expectations in tough operating conditions – not least of which is the ability for tradies to access difficult jobsites.

Initial Australian specifications were subsequently released just in time for our publication, with Hino confirming the 4×4 will be available in both single and (seven-seat) crew cab configuration.

Power comes from the familiar Euro 5-compliant ‘N04C’ 4L four-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel engine (with particulate filter) that produces 121kW of power (or 165hp) and 464Nm of torque from just 1,400rpm, driving through a six-speed manual overdrive transmission and selectable 4×4 system with dual range transfer case.

Hino says the 300 Series 4×4 has the widest spread of ratios and the lowest crawl speed in its class – pointing to low-range gearing of 2.2:1 – and that the driveline combination improves fuel economy and refinement over long distances by lowering the engine revs at highway speeds.

Drive is delivered 50:50 front/rear when 4×4 is engaged via the transfer case. The standard free-wheeling hubs are manually locked; once engaged, 4×4 can be selected on the fly by the driver via a button on the dashboard. Moving between high and low range is also made via a dash switch (when the vehicle is stationary).

Based on a new 817 model designation, the 300 Series 4×4 is fitted standard with vehicle stability control – billed as a first for a Japanese-built truck in this (7,500kg GVM) category – as well as four-wheel disc brakes, a reversing camera and dual front airbags, among other safety features.

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