Toyota in New Zealand has taken the wraps off its new Hilux Mako, a thoroughly upgraded version of the popular bakkie conceived to take on the Ford Ranger Raptor.

As reported by driven.co.nz, the new Hilux flagship has been developed by the Japanese firm’s New Zealand division, which clearly isn't prepared to wait until the long-rumoured GR Hilux hits the road (which, granted, is said to be only in 2023).

So, what sets the Mako – which is named after the “strongest, most aggressive shark in the ocean” – apart from a standard Hilux? Well, Toyota NZ has fitted an ARB Old Man Emu suspension and shock absorber kit, raising the front by 40 mm and the rear by 50 mm.

The Hilux Mako furthermore gains 18-inch Black Rhino alloys wrapped in Maxxis Razr 265/60 all-terrain rubber. The braking system has been upgraded with 15 mm-larger discs and uprated pads, along with braided brake lines.

The bakkie furthermore gains a bespoke front bumper, aggressive fender flares, Mako-branded side-steps, a heavy-duty rear bumper step, a soft-close tailgate and decals, while a towbar is optional. Inside, you’ll find custom leather trim and a model-specific steering wheel.

Power comes from Toyota’s recently uprated 2,8-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, which now delivers 150 kW and 500 N.m.

So, how much does it cost? Well, pricing in New Zealand starts at $79 900 (that translates to upwards of R890 000 at the prevailing exchange rate), which makes its about $21 000 (or R235 000) more than the model on which it’s based. According to driven.co.nz, Toyota NZ expects to sell around 250 units.