Toyota Hilux receives hefty 4.0-litre V6 in GR Sport model
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As Ford's Ranger Raptor gave the popular double-cab ute segment the performance shake-up that everyone was longing for, manufacturers are trying to find a way to match the blue oval's off-road offering.
One brand that seems to be hot on the heels of the Ranger Raptor is Toyota with its performance-orientated GR Sport sub-brand. And while it doesn't look like this model is making it down under, we'll have to wait and see.
Set to go on sale in South American markets during early 2020, the Toyota Hilux GR Sport looks like a refreshing take on the familiar Hilux that we've grown used to seeing around town.
In GR Sport guise, the four-cylinder engine is ditched for a hefty 4.0-litre V6 engine that produces 175kW and 375Nm of torque. This is the same engine that was offered in New Zealand Hilux models up until 2017, when it was discontinued due to lack of demand.
While this still falls short of the Raptor's 157kW and 500Nm, it's worth noting that this V6 can be tuned to 234kW and 400Nm — a figure that could be reserved for the even hotter GMMN variant.
To back up this power increase, a recalibrated suspension system including new springs and tuned dampers has been installed to improve control in "high-speed conditions" off-road.
In terms of the exterior, the GR Sport model sees the introduction of a blacked-out grille, bonnet, and roof alongside two-tone alloy wheels. On the inside, red accents hint at the performance aspect of the ute, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen takes care of the entertainment.
At this stage, it doesn't look like New Zealand or Australia will receiving the Hilux GR Sport, but according to a recent interview with a Toyota spokesperson, it's not completely off the cards.
“There’s a very small chance of that for Australia. We’re always taking a keen interest in the high-performance ute market, but at this stage we have nothing announce. But like we’ve said in the past, we are not ruling truly out any model from GR modification.
"We race the HiLux in Dakar, so it’s definitely not out of the question that we could see a vehicle like that some time in the future."