Johannesburg - Toyota South Africa has spiced up its Hilux bakkie range with the release of the new Legend 50 and GR-Sport special edition models.
The boldest of the two, the GR-Sport would appear to have the Ford Ranger Raptor in its sights, although it’s not a direct rival. Priced at R707 400, the GR-Sport is only available in 2.8 4x4 form, while the Legend 50 will be a far more common sight on the roads as it’s available in 13 derivatives, priced between R472 000 and R712 100 (see full price list below article).
Engineered by Toyota’s international motorsport division Gazoo Racing, the GR-Sport is set apart by a bold body kit and uprated suspension.
Stand-out features include a black honeycomb grille, with Toyota block lettering in silver, as well as red framing around the foglights, Gazoo racing decals, GR branded running boards and 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels.
Priced at R707 400, the GR-Sport is R80 000 less expensive than the Ford Ranger Raptor, but it’s not strictly a direct rival as it doesn’t have the Fox racing suspension system and it makes do with a less powerful engine, in the form of Toyota’s familiar 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine, which produces 130kW and 450Nm. The vehicle does however get a Drive Mode Select system that includes a Dakar Mode designed to provide sharper throttle responses.
The biggest news on the technical front is that the GR division has given the GR-S an uprated suspension system, which includes stronger shock absorbers at all four corners as well as stiffer front springs. Here Toyota claims to have improved agility, without compromising the ride quality.
The GR-Sport’s cabin is set apart by GR branded headrests, start button and floor mats, as well as red accents throughout the cabin, while the instrument cluster gets a red and glossy black finish. This model also receives an updated 20.3cm touchscreen infotainment system.
Hilux Legend 50
As you might have guessed by now, this new special edition celebrates the Hilux bakkie’s 50th anniversary in South Africa.
For the time being, the Legend 50 spec replaces the Raider models upon which they are based, and buyers can choose from a wide variety of derivatives, including Single Cab, XTra Car and Double Cab body configurations, 4x2 and 4x4, and two engines.
To that end, buyers get to choose between Toyota’s 174kW, 376Nm 4-litre V6 petrol engine and the aforementioned 2.8-litre turbodiesel with 130kW and 420Nm when mated to manual transmission, and 450Nm as an automatic.
You can tell the Legend 50 models apart by their black colour treatment for the grille, side steps and styling bar, as well as the unique black and silver two-tone wheels and, of course, Legend 50 badging spread liberally inside and out.
Inside, apart from the logos, the special edition is treated to an upgraded 20.3cm infotainment system with satnav, DVD player and reverse camera. By the way, it now features a conventional volume button, thereby addressing an ergonomic gripe that many had with the previous infotainment system.