Production of the Toyota Coaster began in 1969. In 1982, a second generation was introduced, followed by the third generation in 1993. In 2001, it received another facelift. The latest version was introduced in 2007.
The 17-passenger Minibus, introduced in 1969, used the same running gear as the Toyota Dyna. The early versions were powered by a 2-liter Toyota R engine mated to a four-speed manual transmission. Later models used a variety of four and six-cylinder diesel and petrol engines. Toyota later offered an automatic gearbox for customers seeking the luxury it provided.
In 1997, the 'Coaster Hybrid EV' version was introduced, prior to Toyota's launch of the Prius. Thus, it was the company's first hybrid vehicle.
The LPG Coaster, fueled by liquefied petroleum gas, was designed and developed specifically for the Hong Kong market. This vehicle eliminated black smoke and suspended particle emissions, thanks to the less-harmful gas.
The popularity of the Coaster has grown over the years. It is common in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and other developing parts of the world, including Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2011