Johannesburg - Those sometimes heated braai side bakkie discussions are about to get even more intense, with news that the new Toyota Hilux GR-S is set to be launched in South Africa around May this year. Toyota unveiled the brawny new bakkie at its annual State of the Motor Industry event (SOMI) on Thursday.
However, because we’re still at the “sneak preview” stage, not much information on the vehicle was released, but Toyota did announce that its 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine would be tweaked to produce 165kW and 550Nm. That’s a good 15kW and 50Nm more than the current Legend model offers.
Toyota also disclosed that it would have suspension mods, although no further details were released. The previous Toyota Hilux GR-Sport, launched in 2019, had modified front suspension with revised damping and increased spring rates, and it’s likely that the new model will follow a similar path. That, of course, won’t put it in the same league as the Ford Ranger Raptor, with its advanced coil-sprung rear end, but the Toyota should at least have a theoretical performance advantage with its more powerful engine.
Buyers can also look forward to sporty design packages for the exterior and interior of the vehicle. Interestingly, the vehicle shown to the media this week did not have any interior modifications, but it is technically still a prototype so changes are likely to follow if the overseas versions are anything to go by.
On the outside, the new Toyota Hilux GR-S is distinguished by a large black grille with Toyota block lettering, as well as a redesigned front bumper, unique black alloy wheels, sports bar and subtle GR graphics.
Pricing, of course, will be announced in due course, but expect to pay a premium over the R800 900 starting price that the Hilux Legend 4x4 currently commands.
That’s as much as we can tell you for now, but as always, as soon as we find out more so will you.