Our bakkie lives up to its heritage to help save the day
We suppose it was written, but that we still had our faithful Toyota GR Sport long-term test bakkie on hand when the biblical floods hit Franschhoek on Heritage Day seemed pretty apt. It was a hell of a storm. The biggest in living memory they say. Over 300 mm in a day in the catchment. Which is huge considering that living memory around here goes back to the sixteenth century!
GR Sport Heritage came flooding home!
Now the apt bit is just as interesting. This bakkie was supposed to have been launched in April 2021. But that was delayed to much later. Why? Well, that was the last time, more or less, that a flood of biblical proportion hit South Africa. And like our sleepy little valley this time, Prospection in Durban bore the brunt of that one.
The Toyota Plant is there. It ended up underwater and most of the GR Hilux pilot production was caught up in that. It took a gargantuan effort to see the plant back up and running by August, and the GR Sport launch was put back to much later last year. So, in other words, the Toyota Hilux GR Sport has a bit of a flooded heritage. And boy, did our Hulk celebrate that, and then some on Heritage Day 2023!
Truth be told, we could not have had a better bakkie under us. It had rained all weekend and it just got heavier and heavier through the night. Heritage Monday dawned to the mother and father of storms. The water was already flowing brown down the road outside, and it soon spread right across the street. Fortunately the fence on top of our estate buckled and the water diverted down the vineyard at the back, in frightening volume.
Best bakkie to solve a disaster
It was getting worse when we decided to go out and help where we could. The lady in the house on the corner was trapped upstairs so stopped there to assist first. It was almost impossible to get out the gate and the silt was axle deep. Most village roads were impassable by then too. But people needed help and we managed to get out. Thanks en main to Hulk’s healthy 4×4 ability.
When the storm finally abated late that morning, the excess water disappeared almost immediately. The damage is devastating in certain areas. We were saved by that buckled fence, but many others were not so lucky. Once we forced a route across the village, we knuckled down and helped where we could, our Hilux part of the team every step of the way.
The Hulk worked hard that week. Once things stared to settle in the Valley, we faced the next task of helping move a home. Hilux GR once again proved beyond fit for purpose, shuttling all aspects of a small household to its new venue.
GR Sport has presence second to none
Best of all, not only is its flipside a fine stronger 165 kW 500 Nm and a 4×4 system to beat the floods, but GR Hilux has a presence second to none, too. Any concerns? Yes! Our biggest concern is that our time with our Hulk is coming to an end. And that really is sad! – Michele Lupini
Testing & photography: Giordano Lupini
MEDIUM TERM UPDATE: Toyota Hilux GR Sport Engine: 165kW 550Nm 2.8-litre turbodiesel I4 Drive: 6-speed automatic 4x4 Odo on Arrival: 16,876 km Odo Now: 21,250 km Real world fuel: 9.0 l/100km Towing Fuel: 13.4 l/100 km Claimed Fuel: 8 l/100km CO2: 210 g/km Range: 1,000 km Payload: 790 kg Max Towing: 3,500 kg Warranty/Service: 3y 100K 9s/90K km LIST PRICE NEW: R865K LIST PRICE NOW: R947K RATED: 9 ROAD TESTED: 0-60 km/h: 4.23 sec 0-100 km/h: 9.38 sec 0-120 km/h: 12.72 sec 0-160 km/h: 25.96 sec 400 m: 16.9 sec @ 134 km/h 80-120 km/h: 6.16 sec 120-160 km/h: 13.24 sec Claimed VMax: 180 km/h