Toyota?s new ?tough truck?, the TRD Hilux is set to hit the streets. Toyota Australia's TRD division has transformed Australia's most popular ute into a performance-enhanced vehicle, a concept quite at odds with its more humble origins.
Buyers of the new TRD HiLux will be getting the keys to a truck with supercharged performance, Bilstein sports suspension, a sophisticated ride, 17-inch alloy wheels and beefier brakes. Toyota are touting it as a combination of practicality and performance.
"It offers scintillating performance and dramatic styling while still being able to carry a full load and perform a hard day's work," said Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing, David Buttner
The TRD HiLux is based on the double-cab 4x4 version of the standard HiLux, which is the third best-selling vehicle range in Australia.
It is fitted with a 4.0-litre quad-cam V6 petrol engine complete with an intercooled Eaton supercharger, which boosts maximum power by 28.5 per cent to 225kW and peak torque by 20.4 per cent to 453Nm. As a result, the TRD HiLux is capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in 7.2 seconds.
Remarkably, given the Hilux?s hefty kerb weight and brick-like aerodynamics, the supercharged TRD HiLux returns official fuel-economy figures comparable with the standard HiLux at just 12.9 litres per 100km.
According to Toyota, the TRD Hilux is aimed squarely at men aged 30 to 39 who are actively seeking performance vehicles. Toyota dealers have indicated that there is a latent demand for a performance truck to be added to the Toyota line-up.
"Dealers have told us for some time there is a latent demand for a performance truck from Toyota. TRD HiLux will be the tradie's choice; it will also be the prestige choice of owner-operators and business proprietors."
The TRD HiLux has no real competition in the Australian market, and certainly nothing in the way of a supercharged competitor, so it will be interesting to see how buyers take to the idea of a 4WD performance vehicle.
In much the same way as the similarly TRD fettled Aurion, the TRD HiLux will be available in two variants, the 4000S and 4000SL.
Both variants come standard with twin front airbags, ABS anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, cruise control, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking and DataDot security.
Handling is improved with specially calibrated monotube Bilstein shock absorbers and 17-inch alloy wheels fitted with all-terrain tyres. The brakes have also come in for an upgrade and now feature larger front rotors and calipers. Cosmetically, the TRD HiLux is separated from its lesser brethren with a unique body kit, sports bar and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever.
"Drivers will notice a more compliant ride and flatter, more controlled cornering in a wide range of load and surface conditions. TRD HiLux has also improved the off-road capabilities with a wider departure angle due to the new TRD rear bumper," said Mr Buttner.
TRD HiLux 4000S is priced at $59,990* and the 4000SL at $64,990*. The only option is metallic paint at $300.
*Recommended retail prices exclude dealer delivery, government and statutory charges and optional extras.