At the end of January 2019, CARmag.co.zabroke the news that Toyota South Africa Motors had plans to launch some sort of GR derivative of its popular Hilux bakkie. And now the local arm of the Japanese automaker has confirmed a limited number of Hilux GR-Sport units will be offered locally.
The Hilux GR-Sport derivative is set to hit the local market in June 2019, with just 535 units set aside for South Africa.
From what we can tell, it will be similar to the double-cab model unveiled at the São Paulo International Motor at the end of 2018.
That Brazilian-spec variant features what Toyota describes as “sporty” styling and a “specially configured” suspension system for fast gravel tracks. The engine – in this case the brand’s familiar 2,8-litre turbodiesel linked to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission – is unchanged.
The suspension updates include hardened front springs and the addition of double-tube dampers. The latter work together with “specifically selected” valves to result in a “tailored damping curve to enhance driver control” and “increase confidence” during high-speed driving on gravel roads.
Exterior styling cues include extensive use of Gazoo Racing’s signature white, black and red hues (main paint colours, meanwhile, include Pearly White, Black Mica and Metallic Red), plus the addition of “Toyota” lettering on the grille, a black bar styling bar and bold runner boards. The Hilux GR Sport runs on 17-inch alloys wrapped in 265/65 all-terrain rubber.
Inside, you’ll find perforated leather with red stitching, as well as various Gazoo Racing details, including a start button, GR-brand floor mats, a numbered interior plate and the GR logo on the front headrests.
Expect local specifications (and, of course, pricing) to become available closer to the launch in June...
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.