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Toyota Hilux GR Sport 2022: Australian release draws closer for sportier dual-cab ute

 
Zak Adkins
Journalist

A new Toyota Hilux GR Sport special edition has been unveiled for Southeast Asia, but Australians continue to wait for a GR-badged ute.


The 2022 Toyota Hilux GR Sport has been unveiled for the Thailand and Japan markets but this GR-badged ute isn’t quite ready to come to Australia.

Utes like the Ford Ranger Raptor, Nissan Navara Warrior and the Walkinshaw-developed Volkswagen Amarok W580S would prove to be worthy competitors if the Hilux GR Sport came down under. 

Those wishing the new Hilux GR Sport would come with an enhanced engine and hardcore off-road suspension will be dissapointed, as this GR Sport is more show than go. 

Hilux GR Sport offroading
The Hilux GR Sport has not been confirmed by Toyota Australia.

It does receive a more sporting look, with a bold Toyota branded grille, new overfenders, black rear bumper, red brake callipers and 18-inch six split spoke alloy wheels – plus plenty of GR badging. 

Inside the car, you’ll find synthetic leather seats with GR branding, GR steering wheel and red contrast stitching. Also standard are metal sports pedals and metallic paddle shifters for the automatic model. 

The Japanese spec car will receive a tuned suspension setup “that improves steering response and realises flat and comfortable driving”. That sounds more like a dual cab designed for grocery getting rather than off-roading.  

A more hardcore GR Hilux will likely arrive in the coming years which will fill this gap. 

Hilux GR Sport interior
GR Sport receives red trim throughout and synthetic leather seats.

The engine and transmission will remain standard for the overseas GR Sport, which currently has outputs of 110kW/ 400Nm

The higher spec Australian Hilux gets a slightly beefier engine tune of 150kW/500Nm from the 2.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine to be more competitive with the Ford Ranger. 

GR Sport Hilux start button
You’ll see this logo everywhere in the new GR Sport.

Toyota Australia has said to various outlets that it had “no announcements” to make on the Hilux GR Sport, meaning that the car is still unconfirmed for the Australian market. 

GR versus GR Sport 

At first glance, one might think that all GR models are the same grade and offer similar performance, however that is not the case. 

Much like how Hyundai offers N and N-Line vehicles, the same goes for Toyota’s GR division.

Hilux GR Sport badging
There are both GR and GR Sport models in the Toyota range.

GR Sport runs below the full blown GR range of vehicles and offers more cosmetic upgrades than changes to powertrain and suspension. This is where the GR Sport Hilux comes in with its sporty interior and exterior but relatively unchanged drivetrain and chassis.

Full GR models such as the GR Yaris, GR Supra and GR 86 are all specifically built for performance, have higher spec engines and have developed suspension systems designed for their intended use as sports cars.