CARmag.co.za has reliably learnt that Toyota South Africa Motors has plans to launch some sort of GR derivative of its popular Hilux bakkie.

While details are still (very) scarce, it seems likely the upgraded bakkie will be positioned to take on the likes of the Ford Ranger Wildtrak.

If that indeed turns out to be the case, expect the GR-badged Hilux to gain various styling updates, such as a tweaked front-end design, new alloy wheels, some added black trim and perhaps even fender flares and a styling bar. Extras like a load-bed liner and tonneau cover could also be on the cards, while the cabin should gain a smattering of GR logos at the very least.

So, any power upgrades? Well, while we simply don’t know yet, it seems unlikely. You see, in Japan the firm uses a three-tier system for its sporty products, with GRMN models sitting at the summit, GR vehicles in the mid-range and entry-level GR Sport offerings at the bottom.

Models in the mid-level GR portfolio (which appears to be where this new Hilux variant will fall) generally benefit from upgraded suspension and braking systems, plus fresh exterior and interior styling. Powertrains are generally left unchanged at this level (with only the full-fat GRMN models gaining extra under-bonnet oomph).

In November 2018, Toyota whipped the covers off a new Hilux GR Sport double-cab model at the São Paulo International Motor Show. In addition to the altered styling, the limited-edition model for the Brazilian market features a “specially configured” suspension system designed for fast gravel tracks.

Needless to say, we’ll keep our eyes peeled and ears open for any fresh details on the upcoming SA-spec Hilux GR…