The first Hijet’s, produced in 1960, received a 360 cc two-stroke engine, as was dictated by the kei car laws of the time. The Hijet’s development has long followed the evolution of Japan’s kei regulations, with an increase to 550 cc in 1976 and then 660 cc for 1990. Exterior dimensions have also increased somewhat, from 3 x 1.3 m originally to 3.4 x 1.475 m today. Export versions have usually been somewhat larger as bigger bumpers and sometimes wider bodies are fitted.
Modern Hijet imports are powered either by a 550cc engne (pre 1990) or a 660 cc engne (post 1990) with a supercharged version available. Transmissions options include a 3 speed automatic or 5 speed manual with both RWD and selectable 4WD drievtrains available. Like many other Kei Trucks of the time, the Hijet is capable of up to 45 mpg and put out approximately 40-50 hp depending on model year.
The Hijet is often outfitted, from the factory, with hydraulic dump beds, hydraulic scissor lifts, hydraulic scissor/dump combo’s, electronic bed mounted cranes, enclosed refrigerated beds, boxed beds or with power lift gates.
Popular aftermarket options include turf or Trax tires, plows, salters, refrigerated beds, dump beds, scissor lifts, cranes and all kind of customizable signage.