Johannesburg - With the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger locked in epic battle for the title of South Africa’s best-selling vehicle (the Hilux is currently ahead by a few hundred units), their makers are hard at work conjuring special-edition models to try lure more buyers into dealerships.

And black, it seems, is the new black for adding some glamour to bakkies.

Just a few months after Ford launched a gothed-up Ranger called the FX4, Toyota has struck back with its own special-edition Hilux in “Black” guise, exclusive to the four Raider models in the 2.8 GD-6 double-cab range.

While none of the three available body colours (Glacier White, Chromium Silver and Graphite Grey) are in fact the colour of Batman’s mask, they do have various bits and pieces in gloss black including the roof, front grille, rear styling bar, and front bumper insert. The exterior plumage is further vamped up by colour-coded over-fenders, door handles and mirrors, 18” tri-spoke alloy wheels, and a tonneau cover (black, of course).

The gothic theme continues inside in the form of black leather seats with silver stitching and carbon fibre panel accents, while there’s a dash of added convenience with the driver’s seat getting electric adjustment.

Some of the standard Raider specification includes a colour touch screen with reverse camera, Bluetooth, cruise control, climate control, steering wheel controls, Hill Assist and Downhill Assist Control (the latter on 4x4 models only), auto headlamps, and a full suite of safety kit including seven airbags and stability control.

No extra power accompanies the styling upgrade and doing the lugging work is the familiar 130kW/420Nm 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, available in six-speed manual or automatic.

The Black package adds R27 900 to the standard price and includes the standard Hilux 3-year/100 000km warranty and a 5-year/90 000km service plan.

The Hilux has had several special editions over the years including Dakar, Legend 35, -40 and -45, as well as Heritage.

PRICES

Hilux Raider Black 2.8 GD-6 Raised Body manualR521 100
Hilux Raider Black 2.8 GD-6 RB auto R538 900
Hilux Raider Black 2.8 GD-6 4x4 manual R585 300
Hilux Raider Black 2.8 GD-6 4x4 auto R604 300