Toyota Hilux to get perkier 2.8 engine with upcoming facelift - report
It might not feel like it, but the current Toyota Hilux has already been on sale for four years, and that means a midlife nip and tuck is due.
That could happen as early as this year, according to a new report out of Australia. Citing dealer sources, CarAdvice reports that a facelifted Hilux range, complete with new features such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, is set to launch in Australia in July or August.
At this stage there is no word on when the model would reach South African shores as our models are built here and Australia’s Hilux bakkies are sourced from Thailand, but the SA versions do tend to mirror the Thai equivalents in most aspects so it’s inevitable that local models will eventually be upgraded in a similar fashion.
According to CarAdvice, the Hilux is set to receive a “tougher” looking front end design, but the biggest news for local fans is the likely upgrade of the current 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine.
CarAdvice reports that the motor is due to receive a major overhaul, and this will include a power increase, although exact figures are not known at this stage. For the record, the current 2.8 TD produces 130kW and 450Nm, which falls behind some rivals such as the Nissan Navara 2.3D and the next-generation Isuzu D-Max 3.0, both of which produce 140kW and 450Nm.
Toyota is also said to be working on a more hardcore Hilux that will serve as a direct rival to the Ford Ranger Raptor. This is according to Australian website CarsGuide, which recently reported that Toyota has trademarked the ‘GR Hilux’ nameplate, which is not to be confused with the current GR Sport model, essentially a dressed up Hilux with retuned suspension. As a blue-blooded product of the Gazoo Racing performance division, the GR Hilux would naturally come with more power and significant suspension upgrades.
Indeed, the upgraded Hilux range will need all the ammo it can get to face up to the next-generation Ford Ranger, which is likely to hit the market around 2022.