Toyota Hilux GR Sport launching in Australia in Sept – flagship ute gets 221 hp, 550 Nm, uprated suspension

Toyota Australia has announced the impending arrival of the Toyota Hilux GR Sport. The flagship variant of the ute, as they call pick-up trucks Down Under, will hit the market in September, sporting a raft of mechanical and visual upgrades.

More than just a grille and sticker job, enhancements include the most powerful diesel engine yet seen in a Hilux in Australia, and an upgraded suspension system. The 1GD 2.8 litre turbodiesel has been tuned to produce 221 hp (165 kW) and 550 Nm of torque, and the six-speed automatic transmission has been tuned to support that extra output, which is a fair bit more than our 2.8L’s 201 hp/500 Nm.

The Hilux GR Sport sits on the same “wide-track” platform as the Hilux Rogue, with a 15 mm increase in height and a track width increase of 135 mm in front and 155 mm at the rear, compared with lesser variants.

Toyota Hilux GR Sport launching in Australia in Sept – flagship ute gets 221 hp, 550 Nm, uprated suspension

However, a different front coil and rear leaf spring tuning differentiates the GR Sport from the Rogue, and the sporty flagship is also equipped with KYB monotube shock absorbers with a larger piston diameter. The removal of the rear sway bar also allows for greater axle articulation and ground contact over uneven surfaces.

Off-road traction is further improved with the fitment of 265/65 R17 Bridgestone Dueler AT tyres, fitted on unique black 17-inch ‘Dakar-style’ alloy wheels. The disc brakes on all four corners – 338 mm x 28 mm four-piston fixed calipers in front and 312 mm x 18 mm single-piston floating calipers at the rear – are finished in red.

In the aesthetic department, you won’t miss the black mesh grille with the ‘TOYOTA’ script logo and a GR badge. A redesigned front bumper brings an improved approach angle, and features new fog lamp bezels and a silver lower moulding that sits above a unique skid plate. Large black overfenders house the increased track width and feature aero ducts at the front that help to reduce turbulence in the wheelarches.

The Hilux is even tougher in GR Sport guise. Powder-coated heavy-duty rock rails made of 2mm thick steel help protect the door sills and vehicle underbody. At the rear, red recovery points and a black rear bumper finish the exterior look, and are paired with a pre-installed towbar, towball and trailer wiring harness.

Inside, the HiLux GR Sport gains sporty enhancements including a rally-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, red centre stripe and GR logo. More GR logos are found on the unique front sports seats upholstered in a mix of leather accented and suede trim, matched with grey stitching and red seat belts.

Aluminium pedals, a new ‘Technical Mesh’ dashboard trim, a unique GR Sport shift lever and all-weather floor mats provide further visual differentiation, while audio is via a nine-speaker JBL system. Five exterior colours will be offered – Glacier White, Frosted White, Stunning Silver, Eclipse Black and the cool Feverish Red you see here. Those who choose white or red can have the option of a black roof.

The Hilux GR Sport will reach Australian showrooms in September priced at A$73,990 (RM223,538). What do you think of this gym-trained Hilux? We have a Hilux GR Sport in Malaysia too, but it looks slightly tamer and doesn’t come with the extra power – check out the RM169k truck here.

GALLERY: 2023 Toyota Hilux GR Sport, Australia spec

GALLERY: 2023 Toyota Hilux GR Sport, Malaysia spec

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