The Toyota Hilux is one of the legends of the Dakar Rally and a past outright winner of the world’s toughest race. The success Toyota Gazoo Racing has achieved in this extreme competition has inspired the creation of the Hilux GR Sport, the new pinnacle of the Hilux pick-up range.
The range-topping model is revealed just as Toyota Gazoo Racing begins its campaign for victory in the 2022 Dakar Rally with its new racing Hilux.
The Hilux GR Sport is designed to capture the imagination of customers whose active lifestyles go well beyond the everyday, giving them an ideal vehicle for adventure journeys and sporting pursuits. Toyota has introduced dedicated suspension features to deliver an even more rewarding driving experience, with increased control, responsiveness and grip feel. A series of GR-themed exterior and interior design features reinforce the vehicle’s special quality and appeal.
The GR Sport further benefits from the significant advances already introduced in the new Hilux, delivering the pick-up’s best driving experience yet. Its world-famous “go anywhere” off-road capabilities have reached new heights, aided by an automatic limited-slip differential and Active Traction Control. At the same time, exemplary handling and comfort in on-road driving have been secured with suspension upgrades and noise and vibration countermeasures.
Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Nassar Al-Attiyah, a three-time Dakar winner and multiple World Cross-Country Rally Champion, commented: “The Toyota Hilux has a legendary reputation for toughness and reliability. This is true not only for our race car, but also for the production models, including the new GR Sport. This new model, inspired by our Dakar race cars, takes the driving experience to another level both on and off-road. It encapsulates the spirit of our race cars, bringing a part of Dakar to customers all over the world.”
The key feature in the upgraded suspension system is the introduction of new monotube shock absorbers and new front springs.
The monotube design creates a larger piston area to give better damping performance, with faster response and better heat dissipation. It also helps maintain the performance quality of the oil inside the unit when driving in tough conditions.
The front coil springs have been stiffened and both these and the new shocks are painted red to make a stand-out statement of the Hilux GR Sport’s special character. These changes are in addition to suspension upgrades previously introduced for new Hilux, including retuned rear leaf springs and new bushes. The result is confidence-inspiring reliability in demanding driving conditions
Compared to the standard Hilux, these upgrades deliver significant improvements in handling characteristics, including steering effort and steering angle response, straight-line performance, a flat ride and reassuring roll and rear grip feel. The new set-up also contributes significantly to ride comfort, with fast response to high-frequency vibrations and increased damping capability to control body movement and eliminate shock.
The GR Sport is powered by Hilux’s more powerful 2.8-litre engine, introduced to the range in 2020. This delivers 201hp/150 kW and 500Nm of torque and is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Exclusively a Double Cab version, the GR Sport maintains Hilux’s impressive load-carrying capabilities that are among the best in its class: it can take a payloads of one tonne and tow braked trailers up to 3.5 tonnes.
GR Sport styling
Styling treatments inside and out that broadcast the Hilux GR Sport’s special character.
The black front grille has a dedicated G-pattern mesh and gains a prominent central horizontal bar with the TOYOTA name classically rendered, in place of the brand emblem. This heritage-inspired touch references the badging on the fourth generation Hilux of the early 1980s.
The powerful frontal design is amplified by new, larger front fog light surrounds. The 17-inch alloy wheels have a contrast black and machined finish and are fitted with all-terrain tyres. The black theme is carried through in the door mirror casings, side steps, over-fenders and tailgate handle, plus a sports bar, fitted as standard. These elements throw the bright red of the new shocks and springs into sharp contrast. Discreet GR Sport badging is also featured.
In the cabin there are new sports front seats in a combination of black leather and synthetic suede with red perforations and contrast stitching. The GR Sport branding is featured on the seatbacks, carpet mats, starter button and the information display animation graphic. The driver can use paddle controls for manual shift selection and aluminium sports pedals are fitted. The look is enhanced with carbon fibre-style trim inserts, a red deco line across the width of the instrument panel and blue door panel illumination.
Equipment specifications are based on the Hilux Invincible and include a premium JBL sound system, navigation system, heated front and rear seats and a Panoramic View Monitor which provides an all-round view of the vehicle’s location for precise manoeuvring over rough terrain and in tight spaces. LED headlights and combination lamps, smart entry and push-button start, dual-zone air conditioning, Downhill Assist Control and an automatic limited-slip differential are also included.
The new Hilux GR Sport will be arriving at Toyota retailers from summer 2022. The commercial vehicle on-the-road price (not including VAT) is £37,551; the standard on-the-road price is £44,995. Order books will open later this month.