Toyota Hilux GR Sport to launch in Australia in September – 221hp, 550Nm, upgraded suspension

The Australian market will be receiving the new Toyota Hilux GR Sport soon, which will be making its launch Down Under in September. It will also be positioned as the flagship variant of the ute, which is what Aussies call pick-up trucks.

On its outside, the Toyota Hilux GR Sport in Australia gets GR Sport visual upgrades such as a black mesh grille, which houses the ‘TOYOTA’ script logo, and the GR badge. The front of the Aussie-spec Hilux GR Sport also gets a redesigned front bumper, new fog lamp bezels, and a silver lower moulding which sits above a skid plate that is developed for extra underbody protection.

The sporty variant of the pick-up truck is also fitted with large black over-fenders, as well as powder-coated heavy-duty rock rails to help protect the door sills and vehicle underbody. Round the back of the Aussie Hilux GR Sport, there are red recovery points, a black rear bumper, as well as a pre-installed towbar, a tow ball, and a trailer wiring harness.

Completing the sporty pick-up truck’s exterior look are the 17-inch black Dakar-style alloy wheels, wrapped with Bridgestone Dueler AT tyres. All four of the pick-up’s disc brakes are finished in red and feature 338 mm x 28 mm four-piston fixed callipers in front, and 312 mm x 18 mm single-piston floating callipers at the rear.

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The Australian-spec Toyota Hilux GR Sport sits on the brand’s “wide-track” platform, which also underpins the Hilux Rogue. Compared to lower variants of the Hilux, the sportier variant of the pick-up truck gets an increase of 15 mm in height, and an increase of track width of 135 mm and 155 mm at the front and rear respectively.’

To differentiate itself from its siblings, the Aussie Hilux GR Sport is equipped with a different front coil and rear leaf spring, alongside KYB monotube shock absorbers with larger piston diameter. The rear sway bars have been removed to allow greater axle articulation and ground contact over uneven surfaces.

Powering the Toyota Hilux GR Sport is the most powerful engine ever featured in a Hilux in Australia, which is a 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine that makes 221 hp and 550 Nm, and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. For context, the same engine found in the Malaysian market makes 201 hp and 500 Nm.

Inside, the Hilux GR Sport gets sporty enhancements such as a rally-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, which comes with paddle shifters, a red centre stripe, and the GR logo. Speaking of the GR logo, it can also be found on the seats upholstered in a mix of leather accented and suede trim, which are matched with grey stitching and sporty-looking red seat belts.

As the sporty variant, the Hilux GR Sport also gets aluminium pedals, a new ‘technical mesh’ dashboard ornamentation, as well as a GR Sport shift lever. Audio fans in Australia will also enjoy the nine-speaker JBL audio system fitted to the sporty pick-up.

Overall, compared to the South East Asian version of the Hilux GR Sport, which is the one that was just launched here in Malaysia a couple of months ago, the Australian version of the pick-up gets a more aggressive and rugged-looking exterior. It also gets the sportier Dakar-style alloys, but are one inch smaller compared to the one we have in our market.

The Hilux GR Sport Australian customers get will also handle better than the one we have due to suspension upgrades such as KYB monotube shock absorbers which feature a larger piston, as well as the removal of the sway bars. And most excitingly, the Australian Hilux GR Sport gets the significantly more powerful 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine too.

When launched in September, the Toyota Hilux GR Sport will cost AUD73,990 (approx RM223,754) Down Under. Closer to home, the Malaysian-spec Toyota Hilux GR Sport is offered from RM169,080 onwards.

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