American readers are probably unfamiliar with Daihatsu, a Toyota sub-brand. It’s responsible for making more affordable small cars that are popular in Japan.
Because they fall within a much cheaper tax bracket, kei cars are also used as delivery vans and trucks, tiny ones with a 3.5-meter footprint and 660cc 3-cylinder engine. The Daihatsu Hijet falls into that category, a tiny no-frills workhorse.
To be honest, we didn’t even know of its existence until today. It’s a small 2-seater with a cab at the front and a tiny bed over the back. For some reason, a Japanese tuning fanatic decided to make something special out of it, which can only mean the Hijet is popular.
A quick Google search revealed that the Hijet had been around in one form or another since 1960. It was even licensed to Italian scooter maker Piaggio, who sold it as a van in 1992.
The highlight of its transformation is the fact that the Hijet now has eight exhaust pipes, large ones with fancy chrome tips. To say that a 50 horsepower vehicle doesn’t need this many is a severe understatement. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if none of them are connected to the engine.
A dramatic body kit has also been added, with a massive chin spoiler, supercar-like side skirts, and a rear diffuser. Fender flares bring attention to the fact that an air-ride suspension system has been installed. LED tuning is also popular in Japan, as you can see from the fancy lights show the Hijet puts on at the back. You don’t see that on slammed Silverados in America! And are those… Mercedes door mirrors?