Next GR Hilux to blends SA power, Aussie chassis
How’s that for timing? Just as you thought it was safe to go back in the water, and on the very day that four Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux T1+s moved into a dominant 1-2-3-4 at the Dakar Rally, Toyota has ripped the covers off the next GR Hilux Sport.
Next GR Hilux gets latest SA power, Aussie chassis
We asked Toyota SA when the Aussie widebody Hilux would come to SA and the answer was, “late 2023 with the next phase of the new GR Hilux.” Well, this one, which will be the first GR model introduced there, is promised on the Aussie market then too. So, we’d expect it in South Africa before the end of the year.
Next GR Hilux the boldest, most powerful yet
Said to be the boldest and most powerful special edition GR Hilux to date, Toyota promises the next bakkie’s bold new nose was designed in a wind-tunnel. To best cool to the uprated 165kW and 550Nm 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel already waiting for you at your local SA Toyota dealership.
The newcomer also takes the latest SA GR Hilux steering wheel paddle shifters for its 6-speed gearbox, now tuned for extra power and sporty driving.
A wider track for stability
The press photos further reveal that the next GR Hilux has at least the same, if not an even wider track and extended wheel-arch fender flares than the recently updated Aussie-spec Hilux Rogue. Broader front and rear axles bring a 140 mm wider front and 155 mm wider rear track in a larger footprint for improved stability.
Toyota’s press info says the ’24 GR Hilux also gets heavy-duty suspension, all-terrain tyres, rear recovery points, and heavy-duty rock sliders instead of side-steps. Don’t mention Raptor… Add new lower control arms for the front suspension.
Outboard rear dampers improve articulation
The rear dampers are moved outboard of the chassis rails for better on-road steadiness and off-road wheel articulation. There is no mention, yet, of a load bed to accept a Euro palette. Like the new Ranger can, and the Amarok always has achieved.
The new bakkie also takes its new higher damping force and heat-dissipating monotube shock absorbers. And stiffer coil front springs from the South African GR. To improve the front-rear suspension balance,
SA’s next GR Hilux gets Aussie 4-wheel discs
The new bakkie also borrows its new for SA four-wheel-disc brakes from the Aussie Rogue bakkie. The new 312 mm rear discs’ single-piston floating callipers and those clamping the 338 mm front rotors get a lick GR Sport red paint.
Although flaunted as all-terrain, the tyres on the bakkie in the press pictures appear a little more road oriented. That said, like the SA bakkie, they grace 17-inch alloy wheels rather than the 18-inchers found on the regular, more street-oriented Legend and other top models.
Expect next GR Hilux ‘late 2023’
There’s no mention of pricing or launch dates. Bar that ‘late 2023’ suggestion. The existing South African Hilux GR Sport sells for R865K. Aussie versions are expected to be built in Thailand, with finishing touches added at its old plant in Melbourne. SA models would be built at Prospection.
Reading between the lines, this broader, powered-up next GR Hilux also appears to be something of a global consolidation. It promises to merge differing product from Toyota’s Eastern Hilux operations based out of Prospection, Durban. And its Western business out of Thailand into a single offering.
One next GR Hilux for all?
That ahead of an all-new, bigger, and more future ready Hilux somewhere around late 2024 or early ’25. One that will easier accept a V6 engine and electrification. – Michele Lupini\