Toyota has launched its latest flagship variant, the performance Hilux GR Sport, which enters the market priced from $73,990 plus on-road costs.
The upmarket Hilux now competes with the Ford Ranger Wildtrak ($67,990) and Wildtrak X ($75,990) with 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engines, and the Nissan Navara Pro-4X ($58,905) and Australian-developed Pro-4X Warrior at $68,265 with 2.3-litre bi-turbo diesels.
Toyota said its performance dual-cab ute is the result of extensive development, including by Australian styling design and engineering evaluation teams.
Toyota Australia vice-president of sales, marketing and franchise operations, Sean Hanley, said the new Hilux variant would deliver a new level of excitement to the Hilux range.
“This is far more than a Hilux that looks the part,” Mr Hanley said.
“The extensive suspension, powertrain and underbody modifications give our new Hilux GR Sport the sort of performance credentials, that, along with its renowned towing and off-road capability, will appeal to recreational enthusiasts.
“The first-ever Hilux GR Sport’s enhanced capability and performance is a fantastic example of how our skilled engineers and designers can improve our excellent vehicles even further and we are extremely proud to have been involved in its development,” he said.
Performance enhancements start with an increase in power and torque for the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine, with a 10 per cent increase in both to produce 165kW/550Nm.
The six-speed automatic transmission has also been recalibrated to optimise the GR Sport’s increased engine outputs.
GR Sport gains the same track width increase as the Hilux Rogue, growing by 135mm at the front and 155mm at the rear, along with a 15mm increase in ride height compared with the core Hilux range.
The GR Sport’s suspension is enhanced further with special KYB monotube shock absorbers tuned specifically for the vehicle, as well as the removal of the rear stabiliser bar providing increased suspension travel.
It wears 265/65R17 Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tyres and 17-inch gloss-black alloy wheels that enhance the ute’s on-road stance and off-road performance.
The suspension upgrades do not affect the Hilux’s 3500kg braked towing capacity. Toyota includes as standard a genuine towbar with towball and seven-pin trailer wiring harness.
To support the off-road capability of the new ute, it is fitted with a Dakar-inspired front skid plate, steel rock rails and a pair of red-painted rear recovery points, all developed locally by the TMCA conversions and accessory team.
The upgraded parts support a series of visual upgrades starting with a unique blacked-out front grille with ‘TOYOTA’ lettering and aerodynamically enhanced wide-track front bumper with a silver lower moulding.
New dark grey over-fenders help house the increased wheel track, while black badging, door handles and exterior mirrors contribute to the GR Sport’s dynamic look.
The four-wheel ventilated disc brakes — a first for the Thai-made Hilux —are also painted in a stylish red finish with GR logos to communicate the model’s performance intentions.
Upgrades continue inside the cabin with seats upholstered in a blend of leather-accented and perforated suede trim, with silver accents for the perforated suede and grey stitching. Red seatbelts provide sporty accents in line with the GR design theme.
The steering wheel features a leather-accented wrap with red centre mark, GR logo and paddle shifters, with a unique visual treatment also applied to the shift lever.
Aluminium pedals complement the new ‘Technical Mesh’ trim applied to the dashboard and doors, while the audio experience is improved by the nine-speaker JBL premium audio system.
The GR Sport has all the active safety technologies found on the Hilux Rogue, and comes with a five-year/unlimited kilometre Toyota Warranty Advantage.
This is extended to seven years on engine and driveline, with capped-price servicing for the first three years/60,000km (whichever comes first) and each 6-month/10,000km service costing $290.
The Hilux GR Sport will be offered with Glacier White, Frosted White, Silver Sky (Stunning Silver from late 2023), Eclipse Black and Feverish Red finishes, with Glacier White, Frosted White and Feverish Red able to be paired with a two-tone black roof.
The GR Sport is priced at $73,990 (plus on-road costs). The Rogue is $70,760 plus costs. Options are premium paint ($675) and two-tone paint (black roof) at $1000.
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