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New Toyota Hilux GR-Sport under consideration for South Africa

Toyota has just unveiled a new version of the Hilux GR-Sport, and the good news is that South Africa may receive it in the future, though it is unlikely to be the exact same model.

The new bakkie was revealed by Toyota’s United Kingdom branch and is currently scheduled to go on sale in Europe in the second half of 2024.

Toyota South Africa Motors confirmed to TopAuto that a new GR-Sport is “under study” for a local introduction, but that it if it does go on sale here, it would likely differ significantly from the European model in terms of its launch date, specifications, and line-up.

What you need to know

“GR” stands for Gazoo Racing and refers to the Japanese automaker’s sports division, well-known for its hardcore performance cars like the GR Yaris and GR Corolla hot hatches, as well as the GR Supra and GR 86 coupes.

However, vehicles with the “GR-Sport” moniker are more tame in comparison to the fully-fledged GRs as, depending on the model, it may only get a cosmetic overhaul and handling or suspension tweaks, such as in the case of the Corolla Cross and Land Cruiser 300.

The European Hilux that was recently showcased, known as the GR-Sport II, aims to bolster the “go-anywhere” capabilities of the bakkie, seeing a 20mm increase in ride height, a track that was widened by 140mm at the front and 150mm at the rear, and larger all-terrain tyres resting on lightweight 17-inch alloy rims.

It further boasts a sharper steering response thanks to new monotube suspension in place of the previous twin-tube dampers, which also results in a reduced roll angle, and it gains larger front disc brakes as well as new rear discs instead of the drums on the standard models, ensuring superior braking performance.

The GR-Sport II’s engine, on the other hand, has not been changed, meaning that Europeans will make use of a 2.8-litre, turbo-diesel unit with 150kW and 500Nm on tap.

For reference, Toyota has actually launched two versions of the Hilux with GR-Sport credentials in South Africa, the first arriving in 2019 while the second only went on sale near the end of 2022.

Retailing from R947,600, the most recent version is also equipped with a 2.8-litre plant like the European variants, but it has been uprated to produce a greater 165kW and 550Nm, being the only vehicle with a GR-Sport badge in the local market to have a more powerful motor than its siblings.

2022 South African Toyota Hilux GR-Sport

In addition to the under-the-skin enhancements, the GR-Sport II is more aerodynamic than the rest of the Hilux series thanks to a new “air curtain” structure that incorporates a revised front bumper and fog lamp bezel design that optimises drag efficiency and reduces turbulence in the wheel arches, alongside an aero-styled sport bar and rear deck cover.

The new bumper fixtures and increased ground clearance also raise its approach angle from 29 to 30 degrees.

The GR makeover means the high-rider has a unique look, too, completed by a black mesh grille, red brake calipers, wider wheel arches, and a black and red colour scheme both inside and out.

The cabin of the GR-Sport II comes with an 8.0-inch infotainment screen with cloud-based navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, aluminium pedals, partial-suede upholstery adorned with GR logos, and a steering wheel with paddle shifters.

This makes it comparable to the current South African model, at least in terms of equipment, as it also gets paddle shifters, aluminium pedals, a carbon fibre dashboard with a GR-branded push-start button, a suede, cloth and leather upholstery, an 8-inch touchscreen, keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, hill assist, traction control, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control, a rearview camera, and six speakers.

Given that South Africa is usually on the tail-end of the launch schedule for most major international releases, it’s possible that the new vehicle may only arrive sometime in 2025 if Europe is only seeing a launch in late 2024.

Further information on the new Toyota Hilux GR-Sport, such as its engine, finalized equipment list, and pricing, will be revealed closer to its launch date.

2024 Toyota Hilux GR-Sport II

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