The eighth-generation HiLux is the first all-new one in a decade, and benefits from some substantial improvements. It's touted as tougher and more capable than the ten-year-old model it replaces, but also safer and more comfortable. It boasts more interior space, a larger fuel tank and greater hauling capabilities. In the right spec, it'll tow more than 7,700 pounds and carry up to 2,700.
There's a staggering array of configurations to choose from: 31 in all, resulting from two drivetrains, two transmissions, four engines, three cabin sizes and three levels of trim (in Australia at least - see update below). The top 4.0-liter V6 carries over and the 2.7-liter four has been upgraded for higher output and efficiency, but there are two new common-rail turbo-diesels on offer: a 2.4 with 164 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and a 2.8 with 174 hp and 332 lb-ft. They're mated to new six-speed manual and automaker transmissions, and buyers in the many markets where the HiLux contends will also be able to select a new Hi-Rider model that combines two-wheel drive with the ride height of the 4x4.
The new HiLux is being introduced today in both Thailand and Australia, which are hardly random choices for the new model's debut. Though the truck is manufactured in six countries around the world, the Thai plant alone accounts for 70 percent of its production. And in Australia, the HiLux has not only been the top-selling commercial vehicle for the past 17 years running, but stands as the country's most popular vehicle of any kind – making it Oz's equivalent to our Ford F-150.
UPDATE: While the HiLux is clearly a vital product for Toyota in the land Down Under, that's not the only place where it will be sold - and the details listed above will change from market to market. "Specs will differ across the globe, including engine availability," a spokesman for Toyota in Europe told Autoblog. The company's Australian PR rep confirmed that "Each region has its own unique requirements. Engine specs change based on emissions requirements for instance. Whilst the vehicles will basically look the same, suspension calibration will [also] be different."
21 May 2015
NEXT-GENERATION HILUX REDEFINES TOUGHNESS
• Four engines, including two newly developed turbo-diesels
• New six-speed manual and automatic transmissions
• Thicker, stronger frame and off-road protection
• Locally developed rugged suspension package
• Hi-Rider 2WD versions introduced
• Advanced comfort, safety and convenience
Australia's favourite ute Toyota HiLux is set to take its 'unbreakable' DNA to new heights with the world premiere of an even tougher next-generation model.
The global unveiling, staged simultaneously in Australia and Thailand, has taken the wraps off the eighth generation of a nameplate with a famed 47-year pedigree.
While the new HiLux, due in local Toyota showrooms from early October, is even tougher than its predecessor, the latest workhorse also features advanced comfort, safety and convenience - and is easier to drive than ever.
New HiLux expands the model's legendary prowess with an even stronger frame, four powerplants (including two new high-torque turbo-diesel engines), increased towing capacity up to 3.5 tonnes* and payloads of up to 1240kg.
Toyota's Australian engineers took global responsibility for developing the rugged suspension package for the local HiLux with testing at the Anglesea proving ground and over sealed roads and off-road trails in Victoria, NSW and South Australia.
The set-up - with improved off-road performance, better suppression of vibrations and improved roll stiffness - will also be used to provide superior ride and handling in the harsh conditions of South Africa, Russia and South America.
Toyota Australia's executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the first all-new HiLux since 2005 redefines the 'unbreakable' tag.
"The next-generation Toyota HiLux inherits the core values of quality, durability and reliability - and takes those attributes to an even higher level," Mr Cramb said.
"The introduction of an even stronger frame, new engines, greater off-road ability and car-like features ensures the next-generation HiLux combines the best features of a workhorse ute and an SUV," he said.
"A highlight is the Australian-developed suspension that delivers increased wheel articulation, improved handling and greater comfort so owners can enjoy stress-free driving, even with a full load."
HiLux's two newly developed GD-series four-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel engines are notable for their low-end punch and develop substantially more torque than the current model's 3.0-litre unit.
A 2.8-litre version offers up to 450Nm of torque, a gain of 25 per cent, while its 2.4-litre sibling generates up to 400Nm. In each case fuel use has been reduced by around 10 per cent#.
Upgrades to HiLux's 2.7-litre four-cylinder petrol engine have produced greater power, torque and fuel efficiency due to lower weight, enhanced combustion efficiency and reduced friction. The 4.0-litre petrol V6 engine continues.
Improved performance and economy are supported by new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, including an 'intelligent' manual transmission that helps eliminate shift shock by matching engine revs to the transmission speed.
HiLux will arrive in Australia with greater customer choice - 31 variants (currently 23) with 4x2 and 4x4, three cabin styles (single, extra and double) and three equipment grades (WorkMate, SR and SR5).
The expansion in HiLux variants is focused on adding more double cabs, more 4x4 variants, more diesel options and reintroducing 4x4 WorkMate.
For the first time, the HiLux range includes Hi-Rider variants - a 2WD with the ride height and heavy-duty suspension of a 4WD model.
The double cab HiLux revealed in Australia features 18-inch wheels on a body that is sleeker and more muscular, at 70mm longer and 20mm wider, with a slightly lower roofline. The range also includes 16 and 17-inch wheels.
Larger exterior dimensions and clever packaging have liberated more interior space front and rear and enabled designers to offer a more natural seating position.
HiLux also benefits from a larger fuel tank (80 litres), all-terrain tyres on many variants and available LED headlights and daytime running lamps.
Body rigidity has been improved with additional spot welds reinforcing HiLux's toughness and contributing to better steering response. Greater use of high-tensile steel helps reduce weight while ensuring body strength.
Toyota expects the entire next-generation HiLux range to attract the maximum five-star safety rating with stability and traction control, anti-skid brakes, reversing camera, seven airbags, hill-start assist and emergency stop signal all standard across the range.
FOUR ENGINES FOR NEW HILUX
Australian fans of the next-generation Toyota HiLux will be offered the choice of four powerplants - two new turbo-diesel engines and two petrol units.
The newly developed GD-series diesel engines are notable for their low-speed torque, generating higher maximums than the current 3.0-litre engine while cutting fuel use by around 10 per cent*.
HiLux will also be offered with an upgraded 2.7-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, with gains to power, torque and efficiency.
The 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine continues in the new range that is due to arrive in Australia from early October.
Toyota's new 1GD engine is a 2.8-litre (2755cm3) four-cylinder common-rail turbo diesel that employs a highly efficient fuel-injection system and intake/exhaust ports.
Although 227cm3 smaller than the engine it replaces, torque has been increased by up to 25 per cent with a maximum of 450Nm available over an extended band from 1600 to 2400rpm.
Power output also improves by 4kW to a peak of 130kW at 3400rpm along with higher gains below 3000rpm to support low-to-mid-range performance.
Development engineers adopted measures to lower weight, enhance combustion efficiency and reduce friction, resulting in markedly improved fuel consumption.
Similar strategies were employed for the second new engine, the 2.4-litre (2393cm3) four-cylinder 2GD turbo-diesel.
With available torque of up to 400Nm from 1600 to 2000rpm and maximum power of 110kW at 3400rpm, this will be the main engine used for 4x2 HiLux variants in Australia.
Toyota also thoroughly revised its 2.7-litre, four-cylinder 2TR petrol engine, achieving useful gains in power and torque while reducing fuel consumption.
Power is up more than five per cent to 122kW while torque has edged up more than two per cent with fuel consumption falling to less than 11 litres/100km on the combined cycle*.
Variable valve timing has been adopted on both the intake and exhaust sides while new shapes have been introduced for the tumble port and combustion chamber to support high compression.
Other updates include lower weight for the roller rocker arm, retainer and valve springs along with measures to reduce friction, including a new oil pump and timing chain.
Improvements to performance and efficiency are supported by new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
A new intelligent manual transmission helps eliminate shift shock by matching engine revs to the transmission speed. It is particularly useful at start-off when towing as it helps prevent stalling.
Specifications are preliminary, based on pre-production information, and are subject to change.
*Fuel consumption varies depending on driving conditions / style, vehicle conditions and options / accessories. Source of fuel consumption data: ADR81/02 combined cycle.
TOUGH YET REFINED DESIGN FOR NEW HILUX
Toyota has designed HiLux to swallow the tough stuff while making life comfortable and convenient for its occupants.
Eighth-generation HiLux has been styled with a tough and functional exterior, exhibiting a strong, aggressive look that marks the arrival of a modern workhorse.
At the same time, the sheet metal is fully refined with impressive driveway appeal that will attract private buyers and their families.
HiLux also benefits from a bold yet strategic decision to appoint a 'passenger car guy' as chief engineer of Toyota's best-selling 'truck', resulting in an interior where the comfort and utility is now the equal of modern SUVs.
The starting point is a double cab that is more muscular and sleek at 70mm longer, 20mm wider and with a roof line that is slightly lower than the current HiLux.
A deep front bumper contrasts with the thin upper grille and headlamps, while pronounced fender flares give HiLux a solid and stable on-road presence.
The large lower grille is a hallmark of Toyota's design identity and the front corners of the vehicle are raised to help avoid damage on rough roads.
LED headlights and daytime running lamps are available for their superior performance and energy efficiency - and they are set off with "HiLux" etched into the surround.
At the side, dynamic lines run front to rear to convey a strong and dynamic shape while the curved rear glass imparts a sense of forward motion.
Depending on the grade, HiLux will be fitted with 16, 17 or 18-inch wheels.
The rear is equally powerful and clean - and the prominent TOYOTA lettering leaves you in no doubt as to the manufacturer's identity.
Aero stabilising fins on the rear lamp casings assist air flow. The step on the rear bumper is deeper for easier access to the deck and a reversing camera is integrated into the tailgate garnish and handle.
Cargo volume has been expanded and the deck features optimal reinforcements and rib configuration to resist damage.
New HiLux's refined interior owes much to the appointment of Hiroki Nakajima as chief engineer. Nakajima-san led the development of the ground-breaking iQ, a compact four-seater renowned for its advanced packaging.
He improved HiLux's packaging by taking advantage of the larger dimensions and by liberating more interior space with thinner seat backs among other measures.
There is more front shoulder room and headroom as well as a greater range of seat-height adjustment so that people with large builds can achieve a more natural seating position and drive with greater control and comfort. Rear-seat passengers benefit from an extra 35mm of knee room.
Comfort and convenience features found in cars and SUVs are fitted to every HiLux, including user-friendly touch-screen audio displays, factory-fitted air-conditioning, cruise control and power windows, mirrors and door locks.
Other available car-like features include multi-information displays and keyless smart entry and start.
New HiLux delivers a considerable improvement in suppression of noise, vibration and harshness, starting with an improved body structure that helps prevent road and mechanical noise entering the cabin.
The diesel engines are much quieter, both at idle and for combustion, plus there is additional coverage and thickness of sound-absorbing materials.
HILUX - A LOCAL AND GLOBAL SUCCESS
HiLux is a global and Australian success story due to its ability - through seven generations spanning 47 years - to deliver the size, capabilities and performance needed to succeed in tough conditions.
More than 16 million HiLux single, extra and double cabs have been delivered to customers around the world since the nameplate was born in 1968.
Renowned for its 'unbreakable' tag, HiLux is an essential part of Toyota's line-up in Australia, having passed 850,000 sales in early May 2015 - or five per cent of total global production.
Last year, HiLux sales of 38,126 vehicles were ahead of the nearest rival by 43 per cent, or more than 11,000 units - a remarkable achievement in the last full year of its model life.
If HiLux were a standalone franchise, its 2014 sales would have made it the tenth-largest brand in the local market.
HiLux is Australia's best-selling commercial vehicle with an unbroken run that now stretches past 17 years.
In each of the past 10 years - the decade in which the current-generation vehicle has been on the market - HiLux has been Australia's best-selling 4WD.
For seven of those 10 years, HiLux has been the outright third best-seller among all vehicles in Australia - and it was number two in 2012.
HiLux holds the national record for the most number of four-wheel drive vehicles sold in a calendar year - 29,346 in 2013.
It has topped the monthly sales charts 13 times - the only vehicle of its type to have achieved that distinction.
Although 4x4 versions did not arrive until 1980, the extra off-road ability and ground clearance have won clear favour with Australian buyers by outselling their 4x2 brethren every year since 1992.
In total, Australians have driven out of Toyota's local dealerships with 477,000 HiLux 4x4 variants and 373,000 in 4x2 guise. Since the start of 2005, 4x4 sales have outstripped 4x2 sales by more than 100,000 vehicles.
The popularity of HiLux among Australian buyers has gained pace over the years.
During its entire history in Australia, HiLux has averaged almost 20,000 sales per year. Over the past 20 years the average is even higher at almost 30,000, and in the past five years it is close to 40,000 per year.
HiLux is built in six countries - Thailand, South Africa, Argentina, Malaysia, Pakistan and Venezuela. Vehicles for Australia come from Thailand, which accounts for around 70 per cent of global production.
The name "HiLux" is derived from a combination of the words "high" and "luxury" - an upbeat view on the strengths of the model when it debuted in the late 1960s.