Toyota HiLux GR Sport unveiled

Home Technology Toyota HiLux GR Sport unveiled
Toyota HiLux GR Sport unveiled

Toyota has unveiled a more powerful, muscled-up version of the HiLux ute inspired by off-road rally racing.

Pitched as a rival to Ford’s Ranger Raptor, the Toyota HiLux GR Sport borrows elements from the brand’s Dakar rally contender.

A wider body with chunky wheelarches looks tough, delivering a wider stance that delivers a dose of aggression to the nation’s best-selling vehicle.

The car has a new grille to accompany underbody armour, rock rails and recovery points that separate it from lesser models.

Like the recently-released HiLux Rogue, the widebody GR Sport has four-wheel disc brakes and reworked rear suspension.

Beefed-up shock absorbers with stiffer springs and revised anti-roll bars promise to make the GR Sport a more precise machine than regular HiLux models.

Powered by a 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, the new car enjoys a bump in power from 150kW and 500Nm to 165kW and 550Nm.

Grunt goes to all four wheels through a revised six-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles on a new steering wheel.

Aesthetic touches include black and red trim elements inside and out, a smattering of GR Sport badges and crimson finish for the brake calipers.

The model joins a growing range of performance-inspired GR Sport models in Toyota showrooms, including premium versions of the LandCruiser 300 Series and Toyota C-HR.

But it is not a fully-fledged “GR” model like the turbocharged GR Corolla, Yaris or Supra sports cars. A proper GR HiLux model with six-cylinder power from the latest LandCruiser family is rumoured to be a part of the next-generation HiLux line-up in coming years.

Toyota Australia vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations, Sean Hanley, says the new halo model will “reinforce the unbreakable bond Australians have with HiLux”.

“HiLux GR Sport draws on the spirit of Toyota’s Dakar success as a hardcore 4WD that will appeal to customers seeking the quintessential off-road version of Australia’s best-selling vehicle,” he says.

“It has been designed to turn heads with aggressive in-your-face styling that’s reinforced by a healthy performance boost, enhanced high-speed handling and even better grip on dirt roads.

“Thanks to the extensive involvement of our local designers and engineers, HiLux GR Sport is a fun-to-drive vehicle that will bring new capabilities and excitement to the adventure lifestyles of Australian customers.”

Toyota says the model will arrive in the second half of the year, for a price yet to be determined.

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