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We take a look at the pickup through eight generations

If you were to rank vehicles that do what they're told to do, the Toyota Hilux might be one of the top five greatest workhorses of all time. For 50 years, over eight generations, the Hilux has proved itself to be reliable, durable, yet modest about its achievements.

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We like the Tacoma, but these Hiluxes are pretty sweet

They range from mild to wild.

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This Hilux really is a full-sized toy.

It was built by the team that created the Polar Hilux.

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Australia's bestselling vehicle comes in 31 flavors

There are a number of new cab, engine and transmission configurations.

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Hilux has been on hiatus in its homeland for 13 years

The Hilux has been absent from Japan for 13 years.

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The Ford Ranger is also up for consideration.

An Ohio company will modify the vehicles with heavily upgraded mechanicals, armor, and new communications and command equipment.

ETC

Arguably the best small pickup of the 1970s.

Whether hauling a dozen Kalashnikov-wielding fighters in Afghanistan or commuting to work in Albany, these trucks seem to live forever.

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Toyota South Africa Motorsport is giving the Hilux a serious performance boost by slotting in the 5.0-liter V8 from a Lexus IS F. Making 449 horsepower, the truck also gets a suspension and brake overhaul to handle the extra power.

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Coming trade deals in the Pacific and in the EU could finally put an end to the Chicken Tax that exerts a 25-percent import tariff on foreign pickup trucks. Although, it might be a while before we see a bevy of new models on US streets.

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HiLux is one Toyota's top-selling nameplates and the most popular in Australia. The truck has just been replaced with an all-new, eighth-generation model that's tougher, more capable, safer, and more comfortable than the model it replaces.

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The midsize truck segment is suddenly seemingly exploding with new vehicles worldwide, even here in North America. Not only will the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon be available very soon, Toyota is already testing a replacement for its aging Tacoma and Honda has promised a Ridgeline replacement within the next 18 months. Also, the recently shown Nissan Navara is said to portend the future of our Frontier. Here's some more fresh evidence from Europe of this pickup boom with the next generation

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The Hilux might not be the only Toyota product that we Americans don't get, but with respect to our collective want for JDM jewels like the Alphard, Aygo and of course the noble Crown, it's the forbidden-fruit pickup that we most lust after. As you'd suspect, announcing a new Invincible trim-level for the truck doesn't make us want the thing any less, either.

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The Datsun 510 will always hold a special place in enthusiast's hearts. The anonymous little coupes and sedans quickly established themselves as willing performers on the nation's race tracks in the early '70s. But while the goons at BRE were busy embarrassing other manufacturers in the Trans Am Challenge, scads of 510 Wagons contented themselves with family hauler duty. These days, the unloved wagons are easily outpaced by their two- and four-door compatriots at car shows, but the guys at Depth

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Toyota has just wrapped up another impressive Antarctic expedition, this time traversing over 43,500 miles in the span of four months. In the process, the company says it snagged a new world record with three specially-prepared Hilux pickup trucks with each covering 5,903 miles of the frozen continent. Iceland-based Arctic Trucks handled converting the pickups for their stint in the cold, and while the alterations included creating at least two 6x6 versions, the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engines ha

The Toyota Hilux can attribute a fair portion of the its celebrity to the Top Gear crew's exuberant doting. After attempting to destroy the truck via a smattering of inhumane methods, traversing the frozen wastes of Antarctica the Arctic and braving the fires of Icelandic volcanoes, the show has given the globe-conquering Toyota more love than nearly any other model.

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Top Gear showed us just how sturdy the Toyota Hilux pickup truck can be. The plucky Brit trio put one poor truck through a series of increasingly harder challenges until they finally strapped it to the roof of a building destined to be demolished. After pulling it off the pile of rubble that used to be an apartment building, the Hilux was eventually started up, and later driven into the Top Gear studio. Needless to say, this is one tough truck we're talking about here.

Toyota Hilux goes to Antartica – Click above for high-res image gallery

It turns out that the Toyota Hilux isn't just a favorite with fans of Top Gear. According to Newsweek, the unbeatable little pickup from Japan is also a vital cog in various insurgent war machines around the globe. With its combination of reliability, affordability, ubiquity and capability, the bare-bones truck has been a favorite with rebel groups of various nationalities since it first hit the scene in the late '60s. In the more than 40 years since, the Hilux has shown up in conflicts from Ni