Daihatsu Rocky

Carpedia

Nov 15th, 2019

Daihatsu Rocky

Daihatsu produced the Rocky, aka the Rugger, from 1984-2002 and was the automaker’s replacement for the Taft (F10, F20 series). The Rugger wears the Rocky badge for the export version but is not the same as the Japanese and US Rocky models which were the smaller F300 and F310 series. In the UK, it entered the market as the Fourtrak.

Although almost identical in appearance to the F300 series, the Rocky had three wheelbase versions, the short-wheelbase of 2,205mm length, the long-wheelbase of 2,530mm, and the special Indonesian version with still a longer wheelbase of 2,800mm. For comparison, the F300 series only had a wheelbase of 2,175mm. 

The Rugger was meant to compete with the Mitsubishi Pajero and the Nissan Patrol, but even its long-wheelbase version was still shorter than the Pajero's short wheelbase version. 

1984-1992 Rugger, Rocky, Fourtrak

The short-wheelbase had the designation of F70 (diesel) and F80 (petrol) and was available with either a removable hardtop or soft-top. On the other hand, the designations used for the long-wheelbase variants were F75 (diesel) and F85 (petrol) both sold with a fibreglass top. 

The F70 rolled out in 1984 with either a 54kW naturally-aspirated engine or a 65kW turbocharged version (production began in 1986). 

These engines transmitted power through a 4-speed manual gearbox with a transfer case that could shift to either 2WD or 4WD. An upgrade to the turbodiesel engine in 1989 added an intercooler and uprated to 75 kW. The pickup version called the F77 also used this engine. 

During this time, Toyota sold its version of the Rugger with a 2.0L diesel engine but made it available only for the Japanese domestic market and called it the LD20 Toyota Blizzard. The UK version Fourtrak was only available with the petrol engine.

The F80 and F85 petrol variants used the Toyota 3Y 1,998-cc carburetted engine which produced 65 kW and also came with the 4-speed manual gearbox with a transfer case. 

Daihatsu first rolled out these models with front manual locking hubs to engage the front wheels in 4WD operation but upgraded to automatic locking hubs by 1991. 

In Indonesia, the F70 short-wheelbase wore the Taft GT badge, while the long-wheelbase F75 had the Rocky nameplate. In 1988, the Indonesian market launched the Hiline model based on the long-wheelbase chassis with the option of either a 4WD or 2WD only manual gearbox. The Hiline series was also available as a 5-door wagon version with a longer wheelbase and fitted with the base 2.8L naturally-aspirated diesel. Production of this model series in Indonesia ended in 1995.

1992-2002 Rugger, Rocky, Fourtrak

In 1992, the Rugger received several upgrades including a Bertone-designed dashboard, a redesigned front grille, and enlarged wheel arches. Instead of the leaf spring suspension system, it now had an independent front suspension (IFS) with coil springs in the rear. The upgraded left-hand-drive versions had the rear spare tyre moved to the right of the rear door allowing for better visibility. Daihatsu designated this updated version as the F90 series.

Powertrains 

2.2L (2,237cc) 4Y I4 petrol engine (67 kW, a slight increase in output as compared to the previous offering)

In Australia, below were the available engines:

2.0L (1,998 cc) 3Y I4 petrol engine (63 kW, 153 Nm), 5-speed manual gearbox 

2.8L (2,765cc) DL I4 turbocharged with intercooler diesel engine (54 kW, 170 Nm), 5-speed manual gearbox

In 1996, the Indonesian production of the Rugger resumed using the F73/F78 chassis with the IFS and coil spring suspension. Available now for Indonesia's local market were all their previous versions but was also supplemented by a pickup version. The rear-wheel-drive only petrol-powered version was now called Feroza, taking the name of the smaller F300 series which Daihatsu never marketed in Indonesia. Production of these vehicles continued here until 2007.

1989-1992 Bertone Freeclimber

Bertone of Italy produced their version of the Rugger with an upscale interior and a few modifications on the body from 1989 to 1992. Distinctive features on these models are the quad round headlights and the BMW badges on all sides and the Bertone mark front and rear. The first Freeclimber had its underpinning from the Rugger, but the second generation Freeclimber 2 was F300-based.

The Freeclimber retained the Rugger's mechanicals but used BMW engines. The diesel variant used the BMW inline-6 cylinder 2.4L turbocharged rated at 86 kW. The petrol options were available as either the BMW 2.7L or the BMW 2.0L inline-6 which produced the same power rating as the 96 kW. The 2.7L came with a 5-speed automatic transmission while the 2.0L teamed up with a 5-speed manual gearbox. These models are quite rare, with only 2,800 units sold during its time. 

Rugger/Rocky/Fourtrak Today

Many Rugger/Rocky/Fourtrak vehicles remain in good running condition to this day. Owners restore and even modify these mini offroaders as valued collections for competitors or hobbyists. Carpart.com.au knows this, and we connect you to spare parts sellers within Australia. If you own any Rocky variant and decide to sell, whether in parts or the entire vehicle, contact us at hello@carpart.com.au.

2019 Rocky

After many years of a halt in production, the Rocky has returned in 2019. In the Tokyo Motor Show, Daihatsu uncovered a new mini SUV, now better known as compact SUV with the Rocky nameplate. While using the Rocky name, this recent model is more akin to the Feroza model series with the absence of a selectable four-wheel drive. Daihatsu markets it as an all-wheel-drive version alongside the front-wheel-drive version. Sold as a crossover, the Rocky has now become more of a car but with higher ground clearance. 

With some small cosmetic changes to the exterior, it is the Toyota Raize but with a less aggressive look. The interior and mechanicals are identical with only the badging changed. It comes powered by a 1.0L engine rated for 72 kW but producing a torque of 140 Nm and coupled to a continuously variable transmission. This new Rocky is smaller than other offerings like the Nissan Juke with a length of 3,995 mm, a width of 1,695 mm, a height of 1,620 mm, and a wheelbase of 2,525 mm.

With Daihatsu reviving the Rocky name, this may be a sign of better things to come - maybe even going back to its roots as a dependable and rugged four-wheeler.

-Jarad