Cars > Peek

We want Australia’s badass Toyota Hilux GR Sport

It has flared bodywork, more power, and better handling

Australians need a tough ute to conquer the badlands found down under. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

The venerable Toyota Hilux comes in many forms on our shores. Aside from the basic, cargo, midrange variants, and lifestyle-oriented Conquest, we also have the sporty Hilux GR-S, which is essentially a Conquest with Gazoo Racing jewelry, a couple of tech and feature updates, and monotube shock absorbers.

That’s great and all, but it seems like the Aussies down under just received the Ford Ranger Raptor-fighting Hilux GR Sport that dips into its Dakar-winning heritage.

The truck's looks alone shout 'get out of the way'. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

The first and most obvious change is the wider body, and we mean it. The Dakar-inspired design brings flared over-fenders, a larger grille that has been optimized for cooling, a skid plate, rock rails, and rear recovery points. It also rides on new 17-inch alloy wheels shod in beefier Bridgestone Dueler A/T rubber, which hides bigger disc brakes beneath.

Power and handling upgrades mean you can eat Raptors for breakfast. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

Next, the 2.8-liter turbodiesel (1GD-FTV) gets a power bump to 224hp and 550Nm, thanks to a revised turbo and fuel injectors. The automatic transmission has also been recalibrated for sportier gearing and an expanded lock-up area for a smoother off-road experience.

As for handling, a tuned suspension with monotube shock absorbers and stiffer coils help reduce body roll and increase steering response, with wider tracks (by 140mm at the front and 155mm at the rear) and a reinforced rear axle increasing the approach angle and the ground clearance.

Of course, you can expect a smattering of GR badges all around. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

As for the cabin, there’s nothing that you haven’t seen, with aluminum sport pedals, red seatbelts, and the GR branding around the cabin. To be fair, you wouldn’t need to pay much attention to the cabin as you’re happily blasting through the Australian outback once this vehicle launches there in the second half of this year.

Pretty please, Toyota Motor Philippines?

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.