Toyota’s Hilux takes inspiration from Dakar Rally with new GR Sport II

Special version gets its own dedicated suspension setup and a host of other tweaks.

Toyota is aiming to push its Hilux pick-up truck ‘to new heights’ with the introduction of a new GR Sport II specification.

Drawing inspiration from the legendarily gruelling Dakar Rally, the Hilux GR Sport II has a number of tweaks and changes which should help to make it even more capable over difficult terrain.

Powered by a 201bhp 2.8-litre engine, the GR Sport II gains more ground clearance thanks to a bump in ride height of 20mm. The front and rear tracks have been widened by 140mm and 150mm respectively, while the approach angle has been improved as well. A new ‘air curtain’ structure also helps the Hilux to perform better in terms of aerodynamics, with a revised bumper and fog lamp bezel reducing drag overall.

Photos: PA Media

New monotube dampers replace the standard twin-tube versions for a more stable, confidence-inspiring ride while 17-inch wheels gain all-terrain tyres. Toyota has also beefed-up the Hilux’s brakes through larger front discs and new rear discs which replace the standard drums.

The exterior design has also been tweaked with a new mesh front grille which frames the Toyota name, while a number of GR Sport badges are fitted across the truck. Inside, there’s a black monochrome theme throughout contrasted by red accents in areas such as the seats, gearshift paddles and pedals. The sport seats are trimmed in a blend of synthetic suede and leather while in the middle of the dash sits a new eight-inch infotainment display which incorporates both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity systems.

Toyota has said that sales of the new Hilux GR Sport II will kick off in the first half of 2024, with prices announced closer to that time.

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