Meet the Multix. It might have the looks of an auto rickshaw. But this mini-pickup truck is more than that.
Targeted at small businessmen, the Multix can also double-up as a generator to light up homes, power tools or even run a DJ console.
A joint venture between U.S.-based Polaris Industries and India’s Eicher Motors, the vehicle is designed to be small enough to steer through congested city roads in the South Asian country, but still it comes with an independent suspension system and 225 millimeters of ground clearance to tackle potholed or flooded streets.
The Multix will be offered for test rides from July in 30 Indian cities with customer deliveries starting in August.
Dealership prices start at around 233,000 rupees ($3,670.)
Eicher Polaris Pvt.—the equal joint venture company formed in July 2012—says the Multix went through rigorous testing, equivalent to traveling 1.8 million kilometers in both the U.S. and India. They say the vehicle has a “tubular frame structure and roll-over protection system that provides structural stability and reinforced safety.”
With its 511-cubic-centimeter diesel engine, the Multix can travel more than 28 kilometers to a liter, according to the companies. Its dual cab can transport up to five people and has up to 1,918 liters of luggage space big enough for a family vacation.
But the pickup’s unique feature is what it calls the X-PORT—which acts as a generator to give out up to three kilowatts of power to light homes, and power professional equipment such as drilling machines, DJ systems, water pumps.
“We have identified a large, untapped segment in independent businessmen with an estimated population of 58 million in India, and are committed to create a new and strongly differentiated automotive solution for them through ‘Multix’,” said Siddhartha Lal, managing director and chief executive of Eicher Motors, in a statement.
The company also produces motorcycles, tractors and trucks.
Eicher Polaris haven’t said whether they plan to export the Multix, which is made in their factory in Jaipur in Rajasthan state. Built with an investment of 3.5 billion rupees, the plant can produce up to 60,000 vehicles each year, which can be doubled if needed, according to the companies.