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Toyota Hilux GR Sport: Australia waits while South Africa gets hot 165kW tune


The South African version of Toyota’s sporty-looking GR Hilux ute gets a higher state of engine tune this year. Will we see the hot ute in Australia?

The Toyota Hilux has received a higher state of tune to compete with the Ford Ranger in the battle of the dual cabs – but only if you’re a South African buyer of that market’s Hilux GR Sport variant. 

In the South African market, the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine will receive a bump to 165kW of power and 550Nm of torque – both 10 percent increases over the standard Hilux 2.8-litre, which makes 150kW/500Nm.

The jump means Toyota’s Hilux GR Sport is more powerful than any current-generation Ford Ranger currently available in Australia, which tops out at 157kW/500Nm.

2022 Toyota Hilux SR5 manual ute white exterior front 3/4 driving shot 2
The South African GR Sport Hilux will bump power to 165kW/550Nm – increases of 10kW/50Nm

That said, Volkswagen’s Amarok V6 remains the king of dual-cab utes on power and torque outputs and the next-gen 2022 Ford Ranger will also gain a new 3.0-litre diesel V6 option, so Toyota’s victory could be short-lived.

When will the Hilux GR Sport be released in Australia?

Toyota provided Chasing Cars with a comment regarding the Hilux GR Sport, but the brand’s local representation wouldn’t be drawn on when the hotter ute will come to Australia.

A Toyota Australia spokesperson told Chasing Cars that “Toyota Australia is continually looking at opportunities to expand the Toyota GR range with more exciting models; however, at this stage, we have no announcements to make on any new additions to the GR family.”

One option for Toyota would be deferring a launch of a Hilux GR Sport in Australia until the next-generation Ford Ranger is set to arrive, partially defusing the impact of that rival ute.

Toyota Hilux GR Sport driving off road
The European revealed GR Sport Hilux is quite understated

Toyota South Africa has disclosed to the local press that the new Hilux GR Sport benefits from suspension upgrades, though specifics in this department aren’t yet known.

The Hilux GR Sport is likely to get uprated front suspension but the rear setup is very likely to remain leaf-spring based, unlike the Ford Ranger Raptor which is coil sprung front and rear for extra comfort and articulation at higher speeds off road. 

What about the looks of the Hilux GR Sport?

Like all the GR Sport models we have seen so far across the globe, the South African model will also gain significant exterior modifications to separate it from the rest of the pack.

If a GR Sport model does come to Australia, expect it to have plenty of black sports trim, larger wheel arches, large TOYOTA branding on the front grille and red sports highlights inside and out. 

Hilux GR Sport rear view
The Hilux GR Sport will get plenty of black trim and GR badges

We have seen several iterations of the Hilux GR Sport so far (none of which have been confirmed by Toyota Australia), with models having gone on sale in the Philippines and Thailand and have been revealed for Europe. Surely, Australia is next in line considering the popularity of the ute in our market. 

Inside the Hilux GR Sport, there is likely to be plenty of GR branding including on the seat headrests and push button start, with plenty of red themed stitching across the interior to let you know you are sitting in the sportiest version of the Hilux ute.