Small in size but big in heart, a team of miniature Toyota Hilux are doing their bit to ensure the smooth running of field events in the IAAF World Championships in London.
The radio-controlled pick-ups, finished in a full official championship livery, are among the retriever vehicles for the throwing events, used to carry discuses, hammers and javelins back to the competitors’ pool after each round. Although built to 1:4.44 scale, they have a tidy turn of speed, reaching up to 24mph as they cross the arena. Powered by a 2,600W electric motor, they can handle payloads up to 10kg – equivalent to one hammer, three discusses or three javelins at a time.
That compares to a full-size Toyota Hilux Double Cab that’s powered by a 148bhp turbodiesel engine and can handle loads 100 times heavier – up to 1,045kg.
Each of the mini-Hilux has been built by hand in Switzerland by Christian Riedel, himself a former multi-discipline athlete. They were first designed for the 2014 European athletics championships and after the London games conclude on Sunday they will continue to ply their trade at major events in Switzerland.
Roman Isler and Dario Meier have been working with Christian to control the vehicles during their London duties. Roman said: “It’s a nice feeling to be standing in the middle of the field, surrounded by great athletes. The atmosphere in the stadium is amazing.”
Toyota is an official partner to the IAAF World Championships and has supplied a large fleet of petrol-electric hybrid vehicles as chauffeur transport for the athletes. The Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell saloon has served as the lead and timing car for the marathon and race walk events.
Little and large: comparative specifications
|TOYOTA MINI HILUX
|TOYOTA HILUX DOUBLE CAB
|2,600W brushless Outrunner
|Up to 2,160kg
|Front double wishbones, rear leaf springs with rigid axle
|Front differential gear
|6-speed manual or automatic