Since the unveiling of the brand-new Ranger, Ford has been at the forefront of conversations around pickup trucks. But Toyota is getting ready to strike back at its most formidable competitor.
The Japanese multinational corporation is gearing up to introduce a completely redesigned HiLux in 2023, and with it will come a new GR variant, which will provide the brand with a legitimate competitor to Ford’s well-liked Ranger Raptor.
Because there has been a lot of speculation and writing about this new high-performance ute, we have compiled a summary of the most important information that you need to be aware of.
Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat: Toyota is hard at work developing a true off-road performance HiLux that can compete with the Raptor. The president of Toyota Gazoo Racing, Shigeki Tomoyama, has said on the record that he wants a road vehicle that is influenced by the company’s Dakar Rally HiLux. However, this will not be a GR-style package.
Toyota has been a constant front-runner in recent years with its specifically modified Gazoo Racing HiLux in the Dakar Rally. For those who are not acquainted with the sport, the Dakar Rally is a challenging two-week competition that takes place in the desert of Saudi Arabia.
Therefore, despite the fact that the particulars aren’t quite evident just yet, it’s fair to infer that the GR HiLux will feature a different suspension configuration than the rest of the lineup. This will most likely need the installation of new shock absorbers that have been modified to withstand the increased high-speed off-road abuse.
It will also need a one-of-a-kind tuning for the stability control system as well as a specialized wheel and tire package.
Completely redesigned, from the ground up
A consolidation of the platforms used by the Japanese company is one of the most important moves that it has made in recent years. The introduction of Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA), which aims to improve the dynamic features of each vehicle while also reducing production costs, was supposed to make it possible to share more components across different models.
The most current information shows that Toyota will build the next generation of the HiLux on the same TNGA-F platform that was used for the newly introduced LandCruiser 300 Series.
On the TNGA-F platform, Toyota already manufactures the Tundra pickup, which is sold only in the United States. It is believed that this platform may be modified to meet the requirements of the HiLux and a model that is quite similar to the Tacoma sold in the United States.
Even with the Dakar-inspired, GR-specific upgrades, this new ladder-frame chassis would deliver a major performance gain since it is stronger and lighter than the present foundations of the HiLux.
V6 v V6
Although the existing lineups of the HiLux and Ranger make do with four- and five-cylinder turbo-diesel engines, this next generation will lift the bar significantly. Ford has followed in the footsteps of Volkswagen by equipping the new Ranger with a new V6 engine, and Toyota is getting ready to respond by releasing its own version of a similar engine.
It is quite probable that the GR HiLux will use the same 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 diesel engine that is found in the new LandCruiser 300. It generates 227 kW and 700 Nm when installed in the large SUV, which ought to be more than plenty to out-muscle (or at the very least be competitive with) the forthcoming 3.0-liter V6 diesel that will be found in the Ranger Raptor.
To put this in perspective, the 190 kW/580 Nm produced by the 3.0-liter V6 in the current generation of the Amarok demonstrates why Ford and VW would need significant improvements in all areas to compete with the GR HiLux.
This is regrettably just guesswork at this moment since Toyota isn’t giving anything away about the new HiLux and particularly the hero GR variant. The reason for this is that Toyota hasn’t released any official information regarding the new HiLux.
All indications point to the next-generation HiLux being introduced at some point during the second half of 2022, with the vehicle arriving in dealerships in Australia the following year in 2023. After the debut of the first models, the GR HiLux will most likely be the next model to be introduced into the lineup. Those will be the main models in the range.
However, given the level of interest in this sort of hero ute (as well as the possibility for-profits), Toyota is going to make every effort to get it on the market as quickly as possible. Therefore, we might see it as early as the year 2023.