With Ford garnering a lot of attention thanks to the arrival of the new Ranger, Toyota is eager to focus the public's attention on its top-selling Hilux! To that end, Toyota has introduced a limited-edition GR Sport and a brace of Legend 50 derivatives.
The Hilux is a household name in South Africa and it’s not surprising when you look at the market dominance the Hilux has fostered over the years; Toyota's bakkie range has been the best-selling vehicle in South Africa for countless consecutive months. Its lineage spans 8 generations since its local introduction in 1969 (production began in 1968), the Hilux is still praised for its reliability, robust offroad ability and excellent value retention in the used car market. Today, the Hilux is built at Toyota's Prospecton plant in Durban for the local market as well as for export.
Recently, the Hilux excelled on the international stage when the South African-built Gazoo Racing Hilux, driven by Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel, secured Toyota’s first Dakar win in gruelling conditions. Days later, Toyota scooped the coveted Brand of the Year title at the #CarsAwards powered by WesBank. And, of course, the Hilux is celebrating its 50th year in the South African market, which sets the scene for the Legend 50.
Only 600 units of the GR Sport
The first special Hilux that consumers can look forward to is called the GR Sport. The limited-edition GR Sport features numerous upgrades, including Gazoo Racing stickers, a bold new-look grille, a 2-tone paint finish and GR Sport 17-inch alloys shod with 265/65 all-terrain tyres. It is available in a range of colours including Glacier White, Arizona Red or Attitude Black, the last of which matches the Gazoo Racing livery.
While the GR Sport's 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Automatic powertrain is unchanged, its suspension has been tuned for performance. The spring rates at the front have been increased with revised damping, which imbues the Hilux GR Sport with a sportier ride, that apparently doesn't affect the ride comfort. The rear suspension has been left untouched.
Inside there are multiple reassurances that you are in a GR Sport model. The GR logo is displayed across the headrests, carpets and the start button. Each model also gets a special serial number badge on display in the cabin.
The infotainment system features an 8-inch touchscreen system, now with knobs included for volume adjustment.
There'll be just 600 units allocated to South African customers, although it appears all have already been accounted for.
Meanwhile, as the 50th anniversary of the Hilux in South Africa is a major milestone, the Prospecton-based manufacturer will celebrate the occasion by introducing a special edition Hilux Legend 50, which will effectively substitute the current Raider versions for the duration of its production run.
Toyota Hilux GR Sport Price in South Africa (June 2019)
Toyota South Africa confirmed to Cars.co.za that the new Hilux GR will retail for R707 400.