With class- (and, indeed, total) leading monthly sales of the ten-year-old seventh-generation Toyota Hilux finally beginning to strain under pressure from more modern rivals some would say the timing of the arrival of the all-new model is perfect.

Revealed ahead of its South African launch in the first quarter of 2016 the eighth-generation Hilux has reportedly been re-designed from the inside out with a strong focus on interior comfort and refinement, while building on this model's enviable reputation for toughness and reliability.

Explained by Hiroki Nakajima, the executive chief engineer behind the Hilux, “our entire development concept was centered on ‘redefining toughness’. We aimed to make the new Hilux ‘tougher’ based on a much broader interpretation of that word. The message we want to deliver to our customers is embodied in our slogan for the vehicle: ‘A New Era for Pickup. Every inch a Hilux.’”

Among the Hilux’s revised features are a newly developed (and much needed) frame and suspension, a new engine range that includes 110 kW/400 N.m 2,4- and 130 kW/450 N.m 2,8-litre diesel engine options, and all-new transmission (six-speed automatic and five- and six-speed manual) technologies.

Boasting 19 mm worth of additional shoulder room over the outgoing model, the new Hilux’s interior also offers 8 mm extra headroom and a 15 mm boost in the driver’s seat position. Rear passengers are afforded a 35 mm gain in legroom together with welcome rear air vents. Expect a newly-developed interior to feature such modern items as a Lexus-sourced LCD trip computer and touchscreen infotainment system.

The new car is 75 mm longer and 20 mm wider than the model it replaces. Crucially in terms of its rivals the new Hilux also has an upgraded 3 500 kg towing capacity with a 1 240 kg payload. A standard reverse camera will be offered in certain markets.

The Hilux will be available at the beginning of Q2.