Hilux gets sporty

Toyota has released a limited-edition Hilux bakkie that reflects the spirit of Gazoo Racing – the brand’s motorsport division. Badged the Hilux GR Sport, the model features suspension upgrades and cosmetic enhancements.

In a statement, a company spokesman says the development brief for the vehicle hinged on offering better off-road handling, enhanced off-road body control and a sharper on-road steering feel. Accordingly, the model has been fitted with monotube shock absorbers that work in conjunction with firmer front springs to offer a sportier ride. Rear leaf-spring rates have been left unaltered to maintain the maximum payload.

The decal-bedecked vehicle is available in a choice of Glacier White, Arizona Red or Attitude Black, the colours matching that of Gazoo Racing’s livery. An enlarged, honeycomb front grille features distinctive Toyota lettering like that found on the brand’s Dakar race vehicles. It is finished in gloss black and sports a GR badge.

Depending on vehicle colour, fog-lamp garnish is outlined in red or white. All models feature a black bonnet and roof, with black accents on side mirrors, GR-branded tubular side steps, over-fenders and wheels, the last-mentioned being 17-inch alloys that are GR specific. Tailgate badging is in rifle black.

The cabin is swathed in black leather with red stitching. GR logos are embroidered on headrests and carpets, and even the start button features a GR motif. There’s also a branded production plate that includes the vehicle’s serial number.

Piano Black finishes have been applied to dashboard and door trim panels, with a red accent line running across the fascia. The infotainment system features an eight-inch, flush-mounted display with a touchscreen interface, navigation system and Bluetooth as well as USB and Aux ports. Steering wheel operability and a reverse camera add comfort and convenience.

The instrument cluster features white-faced dials with orange needles and a cog-shaped motif. A TFT-based multi-information display relays information relating to audio, compass, navigation, trip and fuel consumption.

Power is provided by a 2,8-litre GD-6 turbodiesel engine that delivers 130 kW and 450 Nm, mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox equipped with manual and sport modes Throttle response can be adapted through selectable drive modes. Four-wheel drive can be engaged on the fly.

According to a Toyota spokesman, only 600 GR Sports will be built – all of them double-cab models. They will be priced at R707 400, which includes a 90 000 km service plan.

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