New Toyota Hilux looks like a 'Back to the Future' throwback
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It's well documented of course that the DeLorean DMC-12 from the beloved Back to the Future film franchise was a total bucket of bolts.
It might've packed supercar looks and a vaguely supercarish price-tag when it eventually emerged on the market, but its Peugeot-Renault-Volvo (PRV) 2.8-litre V6 engine was only good for a wheezing 97kW — just seven kilowatts more than a Toyota Prius Prime. Not to mention it was poorly built, unreliable, and could be had with a three-speed automatic.
Because of these things, I'm forced to concede that the coolest vehicle in BTTF was actually the 1985 Toyota Hilux SR-5 4x4.
It didn't exactly have a starring role in any of the flicks, but Marty McFly's dream rig was a tough looking thing all the same. Black on black on black, lifted, fog lights ... enough for it to obtain cult-classic status (to the point where you can even buy a Hot Wheels version today).
It was inevitable that Toyota would cash in on the ute at some point. In 2016 at the Washington Auto Show they revealed a Tacoma ute featuring similar wheels, fog lights, and blacked-out sports and bull bars. But, that was just a concept.
This new Hilux on the other hand, is a reality.
It's called the Invincible 50, and it's just been announced for the UK market as a celebration of the popular model's 50th anniversary. And although there aren't any direct ties in its naming or marketing to the Back to the Future franchise, it's not out of the question that it was inspired by the movie trilogy.
Black 16" wheels are wrapped in macho painted 265/75 BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres, with wider fenders helping accommodate the larger rubber. A vast jungle gym of a sports bar is painted black, and forms the mounting points for a row of four Vision X LED high-output overhead fog lights.
Beefed up looks are backed up by improved articulation and increased ground clearance (40mm up front, 20mm down the back). These elements have been tinkered with by Icelandic off-roading experts Arctic Trucks and by Bilstein.
You might recall Arctic Trucks and their special lifted Hiluxes from previous Top Gear episodes. In short, when it comes to honing a vehicle for off-road abuse, they know what they're doing.
Now, before you dust off the chequebook and run down to your local Toyota dealership, know that this isn't likely to appear in New Zealand any time soon.
None of Toyota's previous Invincible models have ever been offered on either side of the Tasman, and it's doubtful that that's going to change soon. It's worth noting that the Invincible 50 is built on the European-spec Hilux, which comes equipped with a 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel — as opposed to the 2.8-litre that we get here.
Just 50 of them are being made in total, so there's every chance that they're all accounted for at the time of writing (even though pricing hasn't been confirmed yet). But, there's nothing stopping you from giving yours a respray, grabbing some aftermarket wheels and fog lights, and living out your Marty McFly dreams ...