Toyota is now also launching a Hilux GR Sport in Australia. However, it is much funnier than the model with the same name that we sell.
The timing was definitely right: right on time for the presentation of the new Toyota Hilux GR Sport in a special Australian version, Nasser Al-Attiyah defended his title at this year's Dakar Rally and the approximately 8,500-kilometer desert rally won in 2023. Emergency vehicle as in his 2022 victory: The Toyota Hilux. Apart from the name, the T1 prototype of the Gazoo Racing Team has pretty much nothing in common with the production Hilux, but the colorfully pasted off-road bolide is of course ideal as a namesake and image brightener.
The Australian GR Sport variant of the Toyota Hilux, which was presented almost at the same time, has the model of the same name in Germany in front of some quite appetizing details. Above all, the engine performance of the four-cylinder turbo diesel with a displacement of 2.8 liters. This has been increased by ten percent, resulting in 165 kW/224 hp. The torque of the Australian version of the Hilux GR Sport is 550 Newton meters, 50 Nm more than the production model.
More power for the turbo diesel
This is accompanied by new control software for the automatic transmission, with which the gears are turned further and the converter lock-up takes effect later, which scores points when accelerating and overtaking. Shift paddles on the steering wheel allow manual intervention in gear selection.
The revision of the chassis is also extensive. New wishbones at the front and a reinforced rear axle are used here, with the track width increasing noticeably: the wheelbase of the axles increases by 140 millimeters at the front and 155 at the rear. In addition, there are stiffer coil springs for the front axle and new shock absorbers with improved heat dissipation and an increased damping rate. As a result, the Hilux GR Sport should have a tighter, sportier driving behavior with reduced body roll.
Inspired by the Dakar Rally
The "Dakar-inspired design" according to Toyota includes, among other things, a completely unique front design with a new grille, new apron and underbody protection, which is optically extended upwards with a panel part. The car stands on 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, red brake calipers with the GR label indicate sportiness. The black wheelhouse covers that are attached to counter the widened track are particularly striking. As a further off-road attribute, there are also stable sill protection tubes, which also serve as a boarding aid. Two new robust tow hooks at the rear are the finishing touch.
In Australia, the souped-up Hilux version will be launched in the summer, prices are not yet available. But not so good news for German Lux fans: According to a Toyota spokesman, we are staying with the previous GR Sport version, an update is not planned.
With the new GR Sport-Hilux, Toyota Australia is technically much more advanced than the European headquarters with the model variant of the same name sold by us. This may also be due to the premiere of the Ford Ranger Raptor, which is making waves, especially in Australia. With a modified off-road chassis and a good deal of extra power, the GR Sport is prepared for corresponding duels in the outback. We could well imagine that in Germany, but unfortunately that won't happen.