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HomeFeaturesFirst look at the new Toyota Hilux GR-Sport III in South Africa – Photos

First look at the new Toyota Hilux GR-Sport III in South Africa – Photos

The brawny Hilux GR-Sport III is launching in South Africa in March among a slew of new Toyota vehicles arriving in the country this year.

The GR-Sport III is the latest evolution of the manufacturer’s athletic Hilux, providing a more dynamic aesthetic than the standard GR-Sport that is already available in the local market courtesy of a variety of cosmetic and functional upgrades akin to that of the GR-Sport II that is sold in regions such as Australia and the UK.

It is Toyota’s answer to the rapidly rising popularity of the high-performance bakkie segment that is currently dominated by the likes of the Ford Ranger Raptor and is expected to be positioned as the flagship model of the Hilux family until the next generation arrives in two years’ time.

What to expect

The GR-Sport treatment intends to liven up the standard Toyota vehicles with more aggressive styling and improved handling and performance, with the dial turned up to eleven on the incoming Hilux.

The double cab gains a new front fascia inspired by the US-market Toyota Tundra which encompasses a mesh grille with bold TOYOTA lettering, a revised “air curtain” structure that includes a new bumper, and redesigned fog lamp bezels that optimise drag efficiency and reduce turbulence in the wheel arches.

This is further complemented by “Dakar-bred” styling that brings wide overfenders and a larger rear bumper; an aero-styled sports bar in the load box; BF Goodrich Baja Champion all-terrain tyres; exclusive 17-inch alloy rims; and red dampers and brake callipers.

Inside the cabin, there are GR-specific seats in black synthetic suede and leather with silver stitching and perforations, a GR-branded leather steering wheel with a red 12 o’clock marker and paddle shifters, red seat belts, aluminium pedals, and GR logos in the instrumentation panels.

The underlying mechanical enhancements of the GR-Sport III haven’t been made public yet as this will only happen once it reaches dealerships, though the GR-Sport II should provide a good yardstick for what we can expect from the latest model.

The latter version saw a 20mm increase in ride height that took the approach angle from 29 to 30 degrees, a 140mm wider track at the front and 150mm wider at the rear, new monotube suspension in place of the previous twin-tube dampers which serves to improve handling and reduce body roll, larger front disc brakes, and new rear discs instead of the drums on the standard versions of the bakkie.

Thanks to these upgrades, Toyota’s UK division called the GR-Sport II the “best-driving Hilux yet, on and off-road.”

Unlike the rest of the GR-Sport III, under the hood it’s a run-of-the-mill Hilux and retains the same 2.8-litre, turbo-diesel powerplant as in the current GR-Sport in South Africa.

The unit produces 165kW and 550Nm and drives all four wheels via a part-time 4×4 system and six-speed automatic transmission.

The complete specifications and pricing of the new Hilux GR-Sport III will be announced closer to its introduction date in March.

Toyota Hilux GR-Sport III

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