Next step Hilux to get chassis tweaks, wider body?
Toyota is likely to launch a highly revised top end Hilux range in South Africa. The new bakkie will get the widebody treatment, improved off-road ability and better safety features when it arrives. It’s likely to follow the just-launched 165 kW Hilux GR-S as Toyota SA continues to refresh and improve the country’s best-selling vehicle.
2023 Hilux Upgrades confirmed for Australia
Of course, Toyota recently re-commissioned its Prospection plant. Incredibly just some five months after the devastating April Durban floods that disastrously shut it down. And that new, more powerful and so far SA-only 165 kW 550 Nm Gazoo Racing GR Hilux S has of course just landed too. But considering that Australia has also just released a range of new 2023 Hilux features, it is only logical that those will come here too.
So, based on that, Auto suggests that we will see these new Hiluxes here sometime in the new year. The big news is that the Aussie flagship Hilux Rogue has a wider body accommodate a 140 millimetres wider track. Add a 20 mm lift in ride height and an updated suspension package among a range of enhancements. Toyota Australia promises these upgrades will improve both off-road ability and on-road performance.
To accommodate suspension track increases, the new bakkie also gets longer front arm and front stabiliser bar lengths. Along with a revised shock absorber angle said to improve damping efficiency. The next Hilux update’s rear live axle will also be broader, and like the new Ranger and Amarok, its dampers move inboard. Whether that amounts to a wider, Euro pallet accommodating bak, remains to be seen.
Broader fenders accommodate suspension gains
To cater for all that, the updated Hilux will also get wider over-fenders, mudguards and front body extension. A rear stabiliser bar will also be fitted ‘enhance cornering stability and ride comfort’. Damping and spring enhancements will meanwhile enhance roll rigidity by 20 per cent ‘for improved steering feel while cornering or changing lanes’.
Another significant change, is that Legend will not only get 17-inch front disc brakes, but also ventilated rear disc brakes. They replace the rear drums for the first time. Clearly to also match the new Ford Ranger and upcoming Volkswagen Amarok there. Lesser models will keep their rear drum brakes.
One further aspect not included in the flagship Aussie Hilux, is an uprated engine. However knowing Toyota South Africa, we know that there is already a revised 165 kW 550 Nm version of the faithful GD6 four-pot turbodiesel in the new GR S Hilux. So, we would not at all be surprised if that found its way into the bigger, broader, better new Hilux too.
2023 Hilux gains new safety kit too
But wait, that’s not all. You’d not expect Toyota to let the likes of Isuzu, Nissan and Mazda get away with any bakkie advantages, would you? The new Hilux GR-S has also already brought a blind-spot monitor and rear-cross traffic alert. To match D-Max and BT-50. Mid-range Hiluxes should also gain a 360-degree camera and puddle lamps on the side mirrors. An anti-theft immobiliser, replaces the steering lock, as in those Aussie Hilux grades.
How the next Hilux that continues to step up to fend off those new top-end Ranger and Amarok models, remains to be seen. But we’d hazard a bet that it will all be part of the next step up the Gazoo hierarchy, before an all-new Hilux emerges anon.