Toyota Hilux GR Sport: If it’s up to Toyota, anyone can be a Dakar driver

The Toyota Hilux has long been known for its indestructible character. Partly because of this, Nasser Al-Attiyah managed to take the third Dakar victory for Toyota in 2019 with a Hilux. He did this under the flag of Toyota Gazoo Racing. This inspired the Japanese to make a sportier version of the normal ‘street’ Hilux.

Look for the differences

Put the Hilux GR Sport next to its non-Dakar brothers and play a game of ‘spot the difference’. According to Toyota, the biggest difference is in the badge, which adorns the clunky nose. With normal Toyota’s Hilux you see the well-known logo here. On the GR Sport, it has been replaced by the Toyota name, spelled out in classic arrangement. The large grille around these letters now features a special G-shaped pattern, referring to Gazoo Racing. The ‘spot the difference’ game ends when you’ve spotted the larger fog lamp housing and black accents here and there.

Logo here, logo there

Inside, Toyota has put more effort into conveying the Dakar experience. But where Al-Attiyah encountered sand in the craziest places at the end of his trip, that’s where the Hilux buyer will find GR Sport logos. They are everywhere: on the backrests, the floor mats, the infotainment system and even the start button. But Toyota has done more to emphasize the sporty character of the Hilux than just sticking logos. Sports seats with red accents, aluminum pedals, a carbon fiber look on the dashboard, everywhere you are reminded to sit in a sporty pick-up.

More sporty on the road

This is also reflected in the driving behavior of the Hilux. Pickups are not known for great handling or steering movements. But if we have to believe Toyota, this is different with the Hilux GR Sport. This sporty pick-up offers more responsiveness, grip and comfort than its well-known brother, both off-road and on public roads. This is due to an improved suspension with new front springs and so-called monotube shock absorbers, good for better response speed and heat dissipation.

Toyota Hilux GR Sport: If it's up to Toyota, anyone can be a Dakar driver

None of that Dakar inspiration seems to have found its way to the engine, though. Like its less sporty brothers, the Toyota Hilux GR Sport is also powered by a 2.8 liter turbo engine with 204 hp and 500 Nm of torque. Toyota does not say a word about adjustments to the diesel block to reinforce the sporty rally aspirations. The payload and towing capacity of the pick-up also remains unchanged.

How much does a Hilux GR Sport cost?

From 45,995 euros you can park a little Dakar in the driveway. For that amount, such a Hilux GR Sport has a gray license plate. Of course, this price increases considerably if you put a lot of check marks on the option list. For example, you can equip the Hilux with LED headlights, Smart Entry, Dual Zone Climate Control, Downhill Assist Control, an automatic differential lock and a Panoramic View Monitor and JBL audio with 800 watts. The Toyota Hilux GR Sport is now available to order.

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