Toyota has taken the covers off it’s all-new and much anticipated Toyota Hilux and you could be forgiven for feeling a little underwhelmed.
From the outside at least.
But it is all new and the good news is that there is a new, thicker and stronger frame and four new engines, including two newly developed turbo-diesels.
There are also new 6-speed auto and manual gearboxes and a locally developed suspension package.
Toyota’s Australian engineers took global responsibility for developing the suspension package for the local HiLux with testing at the Anglesea proving ground and over sealed roads and off-road trails in Victoria, NSW and South Australia.
The set-up – with improved off-road performance, better suppression of vibrations and improved roll stiffness – will also be used to provide superior ride and handling in the harsh conditions of South Africa, Russia and South America.
“The next-generation Toyota HiLux inherits the core values of quality, durability and reliability – and takes those attributes to an even higher level,” Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said.
“The introduction of an even stronger frame, new engines, greater off-road ability and car-like features ensures the next-generation HiLux combines the best features of a workhorse ute and an SUV,” he said.
HiLux’s two newly developed GD-series four-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel engines start with the entry level 2.4 litre 2GD that produces 110kW and 400Nm. The 2GD will be the standard offering in the 4X2 Hilux range.
The 2.8 litre 1GD replaces the current model’s ageing 3.0 litre D-4D engine and produces 140kW and 450Nm. The maximum torque figure is produced between 1600 and 2000rpm. Toyota claims that fuel use has dropped by 10 percent when compared to the D-4D.
Petrol engine options include an upgraded version of the current HiLux’s 2.7-litre four-cylinder which now produces 122kW and has an average fuel consumption of 11.0 l/100km or a carried over version of the current 4.0-litre V6 (depending on the market).
All engine options are now backed by new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, including an ‘intelligent’ manual transmission that helps eliminate shift shock by matching engine revs to the transmission speed.
Towing capacity and payloads have been upped to match the best of Hilux’s competitors with a payload of 1240kg and a braked towing capacity of 3500kgs.
With the introduction of the new Hilux, the Hilux range will expand to include 31 variants (currently 23) with 4×2 and 4×4, three cabin styles (single, extra and double) and three equipment grades (WorkMate, SR and SR5).
For the first time, the HiLux range includes Hi-Rider variants – a 2WD with the ride height and heavy-duty suspension of a 4WD model.
The double cab HiLux revealed in Australia features 18-inch wheels on a body that is sleeker and more muscular, at 70mm longer and 20mm wider, with a slightly lower roofline. The range also includes 16 and 17-inch wheels.
Larger exterior dimensions and packaging changes have liberated more interior space front and rear and enabled designers to offer a more natural seating position.
HiLux also benefits from a larger fuel tank (80 litres), all-terrain tyres on many variants and available LED headlights and daytime running lamps.
Body rigidity has been improved with additional spot welds and greater use of high-tensile steel has helped reduce weight without compromising body strength.
Toyota expects the entire next-generation HiLux range to attract the maximum five-star safety rating with stability and traction control, anti-skid brakes, seven airbags, hill-start assist and emergency stop signal all standard across the range.
A reversing camera will be available across the range – standard on all pick-up variants and available as an accessory on cab-chassis variants.
Pricing and exact specification information will be revealed closer to the new Hilux’s local launch in October this year. This is Hilux so expect to see pricing for the top spec dual-cab 4X4 models around the $60,000 level.