Toyota Hilux GR Sport II: Wildtrak X in its crosshairs?
The Toyota Hilux GR-S is a legend in its own right. It arrived on the local bakkie scene and almost immediately became a highly sought-after model that packs a punch from the trusted 2.8-litre engine that has essentially been trekking peaks and deserts since its arrival in 2015.
You take a look at the Hilux GR-S and you can’t help but admire the magic worked by the Gazoo Racing engineers to make it such an incredible product that excels both on the road and off the beaten track thanks to suspension upgrades over and above the standard Hilux nameplate.
Just when we thought the Hilux GR-S had reached its zenith, another variant of the Hilux GR-S was revealed by Toyota in Europe. It is called the Hilux GR Sport II which seeks to elevate the bakkie’s etiquette, however, there’s a twist in the tale.
Firstly, it’s less potent than the Hilux GR-S that is currently offered in Mzansi. Here, we’re talking about 150kW/500Nm versus the local car’s 165kW and 550Nm both swirled by the same 2.8-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine. Despite it wearing the GR Sport II garb, its power outputs match those of the regular Hilux models currently on offer in SA yet it comes with bespoke features from the GR basket.
These include a new air curtain structure, a new bumper with a functional fog light bezel, an aero sports bar, a deck cover, a monotube piston for enhanced damping, new lighter 17-inch wheels shod with all-terrain tyres, as well as front and rear brake discs that have been expanded from 16 to 17 inches, plus new 15-inch discs at the rear that replace the drum brake.
Toyota GR engineers have also increased the approach angle from 29 degrees to 30 degrees while also increasing the ride height by 20 mm. There’s also a tread increase of 140mm at the front and 155mm at the rear when compared to the standard Hilux models.
Could this be just a Hilux GR-S Lite, or has the newly-revealed Ford Ranger Wildtrak X gained a new challenger? We reckon it is the latter, albeit a bit more subtle in standard trim.
The interior of the new Hilux GR Sport II comes with a black monochrome theme, red accents, red seatbelts, paddle shifters, aluminium sport pedals, black suede, and leather sports seats with silver stitching.
Toyota has also added a new hydrographic ornament on the door trim and dashboard with GR details on the information display and instrumentation, an 8-inch touchscreen display with wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
The new Hilux GR Sport II debuts at a time when the folks at Ford had just added their new Ranger Wildtrak X to the range, which, if we’re honest, has been engineered to take over the duties of the old Raptor.
This left Toyota with no direct competitor, and the Hilux GR Sport II promises to serve that purpose. Toyota South Africa has not yet announced any intentions to sell the Hilux GR Sport II in South Africa, although the first deliveries to European consumers are expected to begin in the second half of 2024.