The new redesigned Toyota Hilux GR Sport promises to provide a comfortable ride while conquering the roughest terrains.
When it comes to reliability, Toyota is one of the leading global brands in the pickup truck category. Since the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Is Coming in February 2023 with its unprecedented power, performance, and, of course, dependability. Its robust and sporty design promises to challenge any landscape, whether off-road or in the city. When the eighth-generation model was unveiled in 2016, the Hilux received massive upgrades, but it’s the new GR Sport version that made headlines with its rally-like performance and enhancements.
As the Japanese automaker was gunning for the brand’s second win at the Dakar Rally in January 2022, Toyota revealed this range-Toyota Land Cruiser to mark the occasion. It received a new look, features, and upgrades, setting it further apart from the standard Hilux. And with the legendary Toyota’s formula for producing dependable and tough cars. The Hilux GR Sport promises to handle the roughest terrains as well as offer a comfortable ride. Arguably one of the best pickup truck outside the U.S.
- Here are 10 things we now know about the Toyota Hilux GR Sport.
1. Another Product From Toyota’s Gazoo Racing Division
That’s right; the legendary unkillable Toyota Hilux gets the latest treatment from Toyota Sienna —a division that focuses on off-road vehicles such as the Land Cruiser 300 Series, as well as performance cars (GR Yaris, GR86, GR Supra, and the upcoming GR Corolla).
But unlike the sporty Yaris, Supra and Corolla, the Hilux GR Sport is designed with one thing in mind; an ideal vehicle to take you for sporting and adventurous journeys. Fitted with suspension upgrades, the GR Hilux Sport also offers a comfortable ride for a daily driver.
2. Will Not Be Sold In North America
The Toyota Hilux is a pickup truck that can traverse anywhere except North America. Though among the best-selling pickup trucks in the world, due to the U.S. import tax duty laws, the Hilux isn’t sold in the American Market. Sadly, this tradition is carried over to the Hilux GR Sport.
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It’s the Toyota Tacoma and Tundra featuring larger dimensions and more powerful powertrains that serve as a direct replacement for the Hilux in the U.S.
3. The Hilux GR Sport Versions
As it stands, there are three variants of the Hilux GR Sport. And surprisingly, the SA-Spec version is the most interesting, offering more touch in terms of power and torque. While they are all powered by the same 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. The South African ute is tuned to produce 221 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque (20 hp and 37 lb-ft of torque over the flagship model).
The SA-spec model resembles the European version, with a more aggressive front bumper and black model. The Japanese Hilux GR Sport variant is the least powerful, churning 148 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
4. Inspired By The DKR Hilux T1+ Racing Truck
Since the Hilux started participating in one of the world’s most harrowing rally events, it has scooped two Dakar Rally championships on top of the three World Cup Cross-Country Rally wins. The GR DKR Hilux T1+ Racing Truck that recently won the 2022 Dakar Rally Edition inspired the creation of the Hilux GR Sport.
And looking at the Hilux GR Sport, it truly encapsulates that racing spirit. A significant difference between these two is the bigger powerplant in the GR DKR Hilux T1+—a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine plucked from the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport.
5. Toyota Hilux Redesigned Exterior
The Hilux GR Sport’s exterior styling treatment emphasizes the truck’s special character. The GR Sport model is distinguished from the standard Hilux lineup by the new prominent grill featuring the Toyota name instead of the typical central brand logo. The bigger fog lights surrounds amplify the powerful frontal design.
The exterior features discreet GR Sport badging, a black detailing applied to the door mirror casings, over-fenders, tailgate, and side steps, and a standard sports bar. Finally, the truck features 17-inch alloy wheels with a contrast black finish fitted with all-terrain tires.
6. Toyota Hilux Upgraded Suspension
To add to the sporty driving experience, the Hilux GR Sport is fitted with a modified suspension for better grip and responsiveness. The suspension tweaks include the introduction of redesigned monotube shocks and new stiffer coil springs.
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The shocks are painted in red to reflect the truck’s stand-out statement. These changes include adjustments introduced in the updated standard Hilux trim, such as retuned bushes and rear leaf springs. The result is a significant ride comfort characterized by better handling and increased damping capability.
7. GR-Themed Sporty Interior
The interior boasts new sports front seats trimmed in a combination of synthetic suede and black leather with contrast stitching and red perforations. GR badges are featured on the starter button, carpet mats, seatbacks, and the dash display animation graphic.
Other gadgets and gizmos include dual-zone air conditioning, a JBL sound system, downhill assist, push-start button, heated seats, and a panoramic view monitor. The instrument panel is enhanced with a red deco line that finishes with a blue door panel illumination. Finally, the truck is fitted with paddle shifters and aluminum sports pedals
8. Not Much Change Under The Hood
While the truck receives new redesigned interior and exterior looks, it is powered by the same 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine in the standard Toyota Hilux. However, the Hilux GR Sport is tuned up to produce 201 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all wheels via a standard six-speed automatic transmission.
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Available as a double cab model only, payload and tow capacity remain unchanged at a respectable 2205 lbs and 7716 lbs, respectively—one of the best load-carrying capabilities in the Hilux class.
9. How It Fares Against Its Competition
With the much-generated hype about the Hilux GR, it is only fair we compare its performance against other midsize pickups in its category. The Hilux GR Sport is the most powerful model in the Hilux lineup—only outpowered by the rally-bred GR DKR Hilux T1+.
The beefy Hilux GR Sport retains the diesel engine when other brands like Ford’s performance trucks shift to gasoline engines. But even with its 2.8-liter engine, the Hilux is beaten by the midsize 2023 Ford Ranger’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, producing 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. However, the Hilux GR Sport pushes closer to the Volkswagen Amarok’s V6 that cranks out 241 hp on Over boost.
10. Expected Release Dates For Regions And Pricing
In January 2022, Toyota Europe confirmed the Hilux GR Sport would be released in mid-2022 during its global launch in the UK at the 2022 CV show. Toyota also confirmed the South African spec would hit the market before the summer of 2022. Meanwhile, in the Asian market, the Hilux GR Sport was revealed in August 2021 and October 2021 for Thailand and the Japanese Market, respectively.
The commercial Hilux GR Sport starts from $45,000 before VAT, which works out to around $60,000 when subjected to VAT. Compared to other mid-sized trucks, the Hilux GR Sport is something of a bargain, as it comes with excellent suspension and other sporty upgrades.