Toyota Hilux GR Sport II is a Dakar Rally-inspired pickup
Toyota upgrades its sportiest Hilux with taller suspension, a wider track, and improved braking and aerodynamics
- Inspired by Toyota's performance on the Dakar Rally
- Tyre, suspension and braking tweaks
- Open to order in 2024
Toyota is taking the fight to the Ford Ranger Raptor with the new Hilux GR Sport II, which will go on sale in the UK in the second half of 2024.
The brand already offers a GR Sport version of the Hilux – with GR standing for Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s performance arm responsible for sports cars like the GR Supra, and the GR Yaris hot hatch – but the GR Sport II features tyre, suspension, and braking improvements to make it even more capable both on road and off it.
Toyota says the updates take inspiration from the model’s performance on the Dakar Rally – a gruelling multi-day off-road rally, currently held in Saudi Arabia, that prioritises toughness and reliability just as much as it does speed.
To this end, most of the Hilux GR Sport II’s significant changes are to its suspension, which gets the most punishment in any rally event. Toyota has raised the ride height by 20mm, and widened the track – the distance between the centre of the tyres on the left and right sides of the car – by 140mm at the front, and 150mm at the rear.
This in turn has improved the pickup’s approach angle, allowing it to traverse steeper obstacles before grounding out on the front bumper. New dampers are also employed to improve the GR Sport II’s abilities over rough ground, and it gets new lighter 17-inch alloy wheels fitted with all-terrain tyres.
The front bumper itself now incorporates an ‘air curtain’ design to reduce turbulence in the wheel arches and there’s an aero-style sport bar behind the cabin. To ensure braking is improved as well as the suspension and aerodynamics, the front brakes are larger than before, and the rear axle now gets disc brakes rather than drums.
As well as the aero tweaks, other visual upgrades include a chunky mesh front grille with the Toyota script adorning it, and matching side steps, mirrors, door handles, and rear bumper trim. Inside, there’s a set of sports front seats trimmed in synthetic suede and leather, red seatbelts and red accents, and a set of aluminium pedal trims. Toyota’s eight-inch Smart Connect+ infotainment setup is standard, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, cloud-based navigation, and over-the-air updates.
Toyota hasn’t touched the pickup’s engine, which means power still comes from a 2.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel, good for 201bhp and 500Nm of torque. The standard gearbox is a six-speed automatic, with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Modifications to make the Hilux better at high-speed off-roading haven’t harmed its 3,500kg tow rating or one-tonne payload, either.
Toyota hasn’t confirmed a price for the Hilux GR Sport II just yet, but expect an increase over the current £40,500, and that’s before VAT is added. The company will open up order books in 2024, with deliveries beginning later that year.
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