Toyota announced a bespoke limited-edition model Hilux boasting the ‘GR’ logo. Aptly badged Hilux GR Sport, it represents the next chapter in Toyota’s GR product story, following the Yaris GRMN model. GR Sport is the second tier in the GR-product pyramid, which encompasses suspension upgrades and cosmetic enhancements.
Gazoo Racing represents Toyota’s unified Motorsport arm, competing in various global motorsport disciplines such as World Endurance Challenge (WEC), World Rally Championship (WRC), NASCAR, off-road racing (Dakar) and others.
Of course the Dakar and Hilux have become synonymous – following the victory of Nasser Al Attiah in the homegrown Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Hilux in this year’s installment of the iconic off-road endurance race.
The heart of the Hilux GR’s upgrades centre around the bespoke Gazoo Racing uprated and tuned suspension. The shock absorbers have been changed to a monotube design with revised damping, working in conjunction with increased front spring rates to offer a sportier ride without sacrificing ride comfort. The rear leaf spring rates have been left unaltered to maintain the existing payload.
The development brief hinged on offering greater off-road handling and steering, enhanced off-road body control and sharper on-road steering feel.
The exterior of the GR Sport boldly distinguishes itself from its normal Hilux brethren with Gazoo Racing branding and the now signature red/white/black decals. The GR Sport is offered in three colours; Glacier White, Arizona Red or Attitude Black – matching that of the Gazoo Racing livery.
The enlarged, honeycomb front grille features distinctive ‘TOYOTA’ lettering (akin to the Dakar race vehicle) and a gloss-black finish, accompanied by a GR badge. The vertical fog-lamp garnish features a red or white outline (dependent on exterior colour), whilst all models feature a black bonnet and roof – adding visual drama.
The black accents are extended to the side mirrors, GR-branded tubular side steps, over-fenders and GR-Sport specific 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 265-65-R17 tyres. The tailgate badging has also been changed to rifle black to complement the rest of the exterior package.
The GR Sport also boasts a unique interior, utilising red accents to reinforce its sporting credentials. The black leather interior, features red contrast stitching and GR logos embroidered on the headrests and carpets. A GR-branded push start button awakes the engine. Each Hilux GR Sport includes a branded production plate and serial number – confirming its pedigree.
Piano Black treatment has been applied to the dashboard and door trim panels, with a vibrant red accent line running across the fascia – tying in with the theme.
The infotainment system features an enlarged 8-inch (20.3cm) display (now flush mounted and integrated into the dashboard) with additional rotary dials for volume and tune functions. The unit also features key-function shortcut buttons, touchscreen interface, on-board satellite navigation, DVD, USB, Bluetooth and Aux interfaces. Steering wheel operability and a reverse camera adds comfort and convenience.
The instrument cluster features stylish white-faced dials with orange needles and a cog-shaped motif. A 4.2-inch TFT Multi-information Display with steering wheel control, relays a variety of information to the driver (including audio, compass, navigation prompts, trip info and fuel consumption).
Drivetrain and configuration
The Hilux GR Sport is equipped with the 2.8 GD-6 turbodiesel engine delivering 130kW and 450Nm, mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission (with manual and sport modes) and ‘switch-on-the-fly’ 4WD transaxle.
Driver selectable Power and Eco modes alter the driving performance accordingly, by adapting throttle response and transmission shift logic.
In keeping with its exclusive nature, a sole double-cab model is offered. Only 600 GR Sport models will be built. The Hilux GR Sport comes with a three-year/100 000 km warranty, and a nine-services/90 000 km service plan is also standard. Customers can also purchase extended service plans via their Toyota dealer.
Price: Hilux 2.8 GD-6 4×4 GR Sport 6AT – R707 400