2023 Toyota HiLux GR Sport flagship for Australia subsequent 12 months
Goodbye Toyota HiLux Rugged X, good day Toyota HiLux GR Sport.
Toyota Australia has introduced its new “hardcore halo” HiLux variant to be launched within the second half of 2023 will tackle the worldwide ‘GR Sport’ identify.
In a sparse three-paragraph press launch, Toyota’s native arm described the HiLux GR Sport as its “off-road targeted” range-topping ute, however supplied exactly zero extra intel.
Once we reached out to the corporate, a spokesperson merely mentioned it was “too early to verify any additional particulars” – significantly the diploma to which Australian engineering can be concerned.
We’re anticipating the worldwide provide chain to be in higher well being this time subsequent 12 months, so there’s an opportunity the corporate is ready to safe higher inventory of donor automobiles.
The now-defunct Toyota HiLux Rugged X range-topper, which the GR Sport will substitute, got here bristling with 4×4 equipment examined and fitted in Australia after donor HiLuxes rolled off the boats.
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The brand new Aussie-market Toyota HiLux GR Sport will prime the native vary, alongside the updated HiLux Rogue that was revealed in July this year and is anticipated to reach by the top of 2022.
This new Rogue will itself get rejigged suspension and brakes, and a meaner physique package providing a more durable stance.
Toyota makes use of the HiLux GR Sport nomenclature elsewhere, including on this model in South Africa which has a physique package and comes with a 15kW and 50Nm energy and torque bump from its acquainted 2.8-litre diesel engine.
Toyota additionally sells HiLux GR Sport variants in the European market, in addition to in the Thai and Japanese markets – with extra particulars on each of those fashions obtainable on the hyperlinks.
What we all know to date
Toyota Australia mentioned in July 2022 it might axe the HiLux Rugged X flagship mannequin and substitute it with a brand new “apex off-road variant” – clearly with one eye on Ford’s hot-selling new Ranger Raptor, which launched with 4000 pre-orders and counting.
It’s anticipated however not confirmed the HiLux halo might be designed and modified by Toyota Australia at its Melbourne Product Centre – as with the aforementioned upgraded Rogue spinoff.
Since their arrival in 2018, HiLux Rogue and HiLux Rugged X have amassed greater than 17,000 gross sales, giving TMC Australia some license to develop its native skunkworks operation.
In earlier correspondence from July, TMC Australia mentioned:
“In an additional improve to the HiLux vary, Toyota plans to launch a brand new apex off-road variant, changing the HiLux Rugged X. Particulars, together with launch timing, might be introduced in the end.”
It appears to be like like the knowledge drip-feed is just considerably completed…
The outgoing HiLux Rugged X was completed in Australia after arriving from the Thai plant: bringing factory-backed add-ons resembling a metal bull bar, bash plating, rock rails, bed-mounted sports activities bars, heavy restoration factors, new entrance springs, an LED mild bar, and a snorkel.
With out having a lot in the best way of official element, the wording from Toyota Australia round plans for the now-named GR Sport suggests it could go additional with its mods this time, probably veering into extra specialised off-road suspension, higher brakes, and probably extra energy.
However it might be one thing of a shock to see Toyota investing in a correct efficiency powerplant just like the Ranger Raptor’s turbocharged petrol six, because the Ford was designed for world markets somewhat than as an Australia-specific mannequin, which clearly impacts enterprise circumstances based mostly on quantity.
If we go into full pipedream mode, we will consult with the March 2017 Toyota HiLux Tonka idea created by Toyota Australia, which bought a six-inch carry, 35-inch tyres, an influence bulge, 6mm bash plating, new heavy-duty suspension and the like.
Australia has a peculiar want for modified pickups, and automotive manufacturers hate to lose that market to the aftermarket fully – although Ford has discovered a center floor with its ARB tie-up.
In addition to the Toyota HiLux localisation scheme, different examples embrace the Nissan Navara Warrior re-engineering program in Melbourne by Premcar, and Volkswagen Australia’s fruitful association with Walkinshaw round re-engineered Amaroks – one set to flourish with the new model too.
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