Bringing the’ luxury’ back to ‘HiLux’: the eighth-generation Toyota Hilux has been officially unveiled in Bangkok today, with the highly anticipated model debuting in SA, first quarter 2016.
Completely re-designed from the inside out the all-new Hilux features a luxurious interior that’s more occupant-focused, wrapped in a new body, offering improved easier-to-drive, on-road performance; while remaining true to its core values of uncompromising off-road ability. Toyota says to gain inspiration for the eighth-generation Hilux, the development team drove in conditions ranging from rough, muddy forests to deserts with temperatures exceeding 50°C, and flooded roads in the rainy season.
While all new, the eighth-generation Hilux builds on the current model’s success story in terms of resale value and desirability. As explained by Hiroki Nakajima, the executive chief engineer behind the Hilux (and also a managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation): ‘Our entire development concept was centered on ‘redefining toughness’. We aimed to make the new Hilux ‘tougher’ based on a much broader interpretation of that word. The message we want to deliver to our customers is embodied in our slogan for the vehicle: ‘A New Era for Pickup. Every Inch a Hilux.”
The Hilux features a newly developed frame and suspension. To achieve both greater capability and driving stability. All-new rigid and enlarged side sections and cross members enhance off-road performance and comfort in combination to the upgraded leaf spring suspension and shock absorbers.
There are newly developed 2.4- and 2.8-litre engines and transmissions with improved torque in all rev ranges, and significantly improved torque at low speed. This provides extended cruising distance enabled by improved fuel efficiency and reduced engine noise comes, in part, courtesy of a newly developed six-speed automatic transmissions with more steps and optimised gear ratios. A world-first (for a bakkie) – the Hilux features Intelligent Manual Transmission or i-MT to support smooth shifting with rev matching technology.
Styling wise, a tough yet refined appearance is achieved by contrasting the front panel with its sturdy bumper section and the integrated look of the slender upper grille and LED headlamps. It will also appeal to those considering a ‘bakkie’ for the first time, or as an alternative to an SUV or passenger car.
Interior wise, the Stylish instrument panel features a unified design aesthetic and free use of metallic decoration. Cutting-edge, luxurious features, include audio system with electrostatic multi-touch control panel, electronic 4WD changeover switch and luxury seats.
The original Hilux first debuted back in 1968, selling over 16 million in more than 180 countries over all its generations. This year Toyota SA will celebrate a million units sold in South Africa alone. All-new Hilux launches in South Africa first quarter of 2016. Full local range and specs will be disclosed closer to launch timing.