Toyota this week unveiled a new generation Quantum minibus, but says it will retain the old Quantum for use by South Africa’s minibus taxi industry.
While the new generation Quantum will be imported, the old one will still be produced at Toyota South Africa Motors’ (TSAM’s) plant, in Durban.
Sales of the Toyota Quantum increased by 6% last year compared with 2017, to around 16 500 units.
Total plant capacity at TSAM’s Durban production campus is 242 000 units year, of which 13 500 is reserved for the Ses’fikile minibus.
In fact, the Ses’fikile brand will be no longer, as the 16-seater commuter minibus will be renamed ‘Hiace’.
TSAM says the Hiace name is “well known and trusted” in South Africa, as it pays homage to the Siyaya commuter busses of the 1990s.
The Hiace Ses’fikile will retain the 2.7-l petrol and 2.5-l diesel engine and drivetrain.
The new Quantum sees a departure from a cab-over to semi-bonnet design, in what Toyota brands as a “stylish revision” for the minibus.
The range comprises new panel van and bus derivatives, with the option of three-seater panel vans in long wheelbase (LWB) and heightened-roof super-long wheelbase (SLWB) configurations, as well as a six-seater LWB crew cab.
The GL models offers a 11-seater LWB and 14-seater SLWB version.
The Quantum’s new 2.8-l engine adopts a turbocharger with intercooler.
The four-cylinder turbodiesel engine delivers maximum power of 130 kW at 3 400 rpm and peak torque of 420 Nm at 1 400 to 2600 rpm, on all panel vans and the 11-seater bus model.
The 14-seater bus delivers power of 115 kW at 3 600 rpm and peak torque of 420 Nm at 1 600 to 2 200 rpm.
The vehicle has a six-speed manual transmission.
The new Quantum features anti-lock braking, as well as electronic brake-force distribution.
Vehicle stability control suppresses a sudden loss of vehicle stability during cornering.
When on an incline, hill-assist control will temporarily keep the vehicle from rolling back.
The Quantum is also outfitted with trailer sway control.
Other passive safety systems include driver and front passenger airbags.
Pricing for the new Quantum starts at R473 900 for the panel van, and R597 700 for the people mover.
Pricing for the Hiace starts at R419 100.