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July 29, 2019

This Purpose-Built Army Vehicle is Made to Look Like a Toyota Hilux

A few months ago, we ran a piece about the so-called “Toyota War.” You can read all the details for yourself here, but if you want the gist: it cemented the Hilux’s reputation as the unnoticed weapon of guerilla warfare. This leads us to the Navistar SOTV-B, a purpose-built military vehicle that happens to look like a previous-generation Hilux.

From the front, a single glance is enough to convince you that it’s a seventh-generation AN30 Hilux. It’s got the same face down to the hood scoop. Come to the side and back though, and it doesn’t remotely resemble a Toyota.

Now, before you decry this as a copycat design, Navistar says aping the design is intentional. With insurgence preferring to use off-the-shelf Hilux, the defense vehicle specialist had to come up with an ingenious way to blend in while still offering “military-grade power, performance, and protection.” While its default look mimics the Hilux, the body shell is interchangeable making the SOTV-B blend into whatever’s popular—it can look like a Nissan, Ford, or Mitsubishi.

As for specs, the Navistar SOTV-B is powered by a 4.5-liter Cummins ISB 4-cylinder engine making 250 horsepower and 813 Nm of torque. It’s a formidable machine that can start up a 60 percent slope and even has a Baja-inspired suspension that gives it 11 inches (279 mm) of travel. It can also go through water more than 600 millimeters deep.

Despite its dimensions being close to that of a standard pickup truck: 5,245 mm in length, 1,979 mm in width, and 1,854 mm in height, the SOTV-B comes with an armored safety cell and for that, it weighs 3,856 kilograms in its lightest and 4,309 kilograms in its heaviest configuration. Oh, and speaking of configuration, it’s available in 3-, 5-, and 7-man variants.

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