First launched in Thailand and the Philippines and now revealed for Europe, the Hilux GR Sport is edging its way closer to Australia.
The hotly anticipated Toyota Hilux GR Sport ute has just been revealed for Europe, after it was initially released in Thailand and the Philippines.
The new grade level will launch in Europe in the middle of 2022, bringing the HiLux ute into line with other Toyota models that offer a GR Sport package, including the C-HR GR Sport and the new Land Cruiser 300 Series GR Sport.
What Toyota Europe describes as the “pinnacle” of the Hilux range, the GR Sport benefits from retuned suspension and exterior and interior cosmetic changes to make it stand out from other variants.
The GR Sport gains new monotube shock absorbers and new front springs, which have been stiffened over the standard items.
New rear leaf springs and bushes also differentiate the GR Sports suspension from a standard Hilux.
Toyota says that the upgraded suspension setup has helped improve handling characteristics including steering angle response, flat ride and reassuring rear grip feel.
A retuned suspension is a hallmark feature of vehicles that Toyota will put a GR Sport badge on, generally offering tighter body control – though in the case of the Land Cruiser 300 Series, the GR Sport is more capable off-road too.
If you thought the GR Sport would gain some extra punch to go along with the suspension, you may be disappointed – the standard 2.8-litre, 150kW/500Nm turbo-diesel mill remains unchanged.
The HiLux GR Sport picks up extensive black detailing, with the ute gaining a black front grille, black TOYOTA branding and 17-inch machined alloy wheels.
The black theme continues on the door mirror casings, side steps, wheel arches and tailgate handle.
Inside the cabin, the seats are trimmed with a combination of black leather and synthetic suede with red stitching and perforations.
GR branding is featured on the seatbacks, carpet mats, starter button and on the infotainment display – just in case you didn’t know you were driving the top of the range GR Sport.
Paddle shifters are standard fitment for those who might want to drive in manual mode.
Standard equipment on the model includes LED headlights, smart entry, push-button start, dual-zone air conditioning, downhill assist control and an automatic limited-slip differential.
When Chasing Cars reported earlier on the announcement of the Hilux GR Sport for Thailand, Toyota Australia said it had “no announcements” to make on the high spec Hilux.
That means that while Europe and parts of Asia will receive the Hilux GR Sport, Australia is still unconfirmed at this stage.
The chances that the GR Sport will in fact arrive on Australian shores is very likely, though, considering the incoming competition from Ford, Volkswagen and Nissan in a very popular dual-cab ute market.
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