Toyota Motor Thailand has just launched the GR Sport variants of the Toyota Hilux pick-up truck. As the company promotes motorsports even with the Hilux, there are two variants of Hilux GR Sport – the regular 4WD variant and the awesome-looking “low-rider” 2WD variant.

The Toyota Hilux GR Sport variants are locally engineered by Toyota Motor Thailand, with credits mentioned to Regional Chief Engineers Dr. Jurachart Jongusuk and Ms. Anyarat Sutthibenjakul. It is the fourth GR product in Thailand after the global GR Sport models of GR Yaris and GR Supra as well as locally-developed Corolla GR Sport. 

The most obvious changes to the Toyota Hilux GR Sport are the GR-specific aero kit package, black wheels, side mirrors, and of course, Toyota Gazoo Racing black and red stickers. In the 4WD variant, the black rims are 18-inch items wrapped with regular highway-terrain tyres in 265/60R18 size.

The aero kit on the 4WD variant is also more extensive; with a tasteful black-and-body-coloured grille that has ‘TOYOTA’ spelled out like the Land Cruiser GR Sport, side steps, a sports bar in the cargo bed as well as body-coloured wheel arches.

The sportier-looking Hilux GR Sport Lo-Floor 2WD has simpler front and corner aero kits, side skirts and comes with much smaller but relatively sportier 215/55R17 Bridgestone Turanza T005A tyres that are also fitted on the Toyota Innova.

Similar to the Toyota Vios GR Sport in Malaysia, the suspension on both the Hilux GR Sport variants has been upgraded for better dynamism as well as sensation to the driver. In the Toyota Hilux GR Sport 4WD, the shock absorbers have been upgraded to GR-tuned monotube units.

The modification is certainly not as focused as the Ford Ranger Raptor, which has a wider and revised rear axle featuring coil springs and rear disc brakes as well as ‘Baja’ drive mode. Both Toyota Hilux GR Sport variants do get red-painted front brake calipers with GR logo though.

As for the Hilux GR Sport Lo-Floor 2WD, the engineers have been given the liberty to dramatically lowered the ride height in combination with the new spring and shock absorber units. The pick-up truck now rides 23 mm lower than the regular 2WD variant! Ground clearance is at a “proud” 164 mm.

In Thailand, Toyota Gazoo Racing Motorsport holds not only the Vios and Corolla Altis one-make race but also have the Hilux one-make race that also sees quite a large participation by the locals and Toyota dealers. Thus, the Hilux GR Sport Lo-Floor 2WD encapsulates the competition spirit of the motorsport Hilux machines.

Both Toyota Hilux GR Sport variants get the most powerful Toyota Hilux engine to date- the 1GD-FTV (High) 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine with outputs of 204 hp and 500 Nm of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles is the sole transmission available, unlike the Ford Ranger XL Street Special Edition.

Discrete is the theme for this converted Toyota Hilux V8, and there is no plan for the second unit. Find out more about its German heart here!

As mentioned earlier, the Hilux GR Sport Lo-Floor gets 500 Nm of traction to the rear wheels (2WD), while the regular Hilux features part-time 4WD with shift-on-the-fly, as well as brake assisted traction controllers such as Active Limited Slip Differential and Active TRC (A-TRC) for use in challenging terrain.

Inside, both variants get the full GR Sport treatment of the GR-specific instrument cluster (logo and red needles), multi-function leather-wrapped steering wheel with red centre-marking, and perforated suede and leather seat upholstery with red stitching. The only missing item in the Lo-floor is the GR-specific ignition start-stop button that is standard in the 4WD variant.

Smoke silver and metallic black are applied to the trim inserts as well as air vents and are well coordinated with metallic brake and accelerator pedals.

On the safety front, the 4WD variant is equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense suite that includes Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, and Pre-collision System.

Meanwhile, the Toyota Hilux GR Sport Lo-Floor 2WD variant could be the only modern vehicle with the most torque that excludes Brake Assist (BA)!

According to the specification sheet, the Lo-Floor 2WD does not come with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRC) and other secondary brake-control systems.

Only three airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) are fitted in the 2WD variant; a basic and low-budget product originally conceived for commercial usages, such as the Mitsubishi Triton Quest 2WD.

In the US, they seem to test their trucks rather differently. Watch how this old little Toyota Hilux gets tortured here!

We can imagine controlling the 500 Nm of torque sent to the narrow 215/55R17 Turanza tyres. All that fun does not come cheap though, as the Toyota Hilux GR Sport Lo-Floor 2WD is priced at THB889,000 (approx RM114k) while the Hilux GR Sport 4WD variant has a price tag of THB1,299,000 (approx RM 167k).

With the Toyota Hilux a major contributor to UMW Toyota Motor’s revenue and market share, it is only a matter of time before the company introduces a Hilux GR Sport with Malaysian flavour and taste.  


GALLERY

2021 Toyota Hilux GR Sport 4WD

2021 Toyota Hilux GR Sport Lo-Floor 2WD