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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Report claims all-new Toyota Hilux debuting only in 2025

While still set to be previewed last this year by the new Tacoma, the mystery surrounding the new Hilux continues to mount.

Amid ongoing speculation following the sporadic appearance of its sibling, the new Tacoma undergoing testing in the United States, an apparent “exclusive” uncovering from Australia has alleged that Toyota will be debuting the all-new Hilux in 2025.

While initially believed to have bowed either towards the end of this year or early year as evident by the Tacoma being slated for premiering in 2023 as a US-market 2024 model, the claims from drive.com.au alleges the prolonged wait stems from the re-development that needs to be undertaken for the Hilux.

Known so far

It will therefore mean that the current generation, which debuted in 2015, will live on for at least another two years at which point it would be ten years old, officially making the oldest one-ton bakkie in the segment.

Although the findings by Drive, obtained from a so-called “confidential production plan”, didn’t disclose any technical details, what is known is that the Hilux will be aligned closer to the Tacoma for the first time since both went their separate ways in 1995.

This means a move to the dedicated body-on-frame TNGA-F platform that debuted with the Land Cruiser 300, and which also underpins the Tundra, Sequoia, Lexus LX and soon, the next generation Land Cruiser Prado, Fortuner and the North American 4Runner.

In addition, the Hilux’s closer relations with the Tacoma means it could potentially get some of its Stateside cousin’s styling touches, which came to the fore following the leaking of patent images submitted to Brazil’s ministerial property and intellectual trademark office last month.

Hybrid powertrain likely

At present, the biggest uncertainty surrounds the Hilux’s engine options as its supposed unveiling will take place in the year Toyota confirmed as far back as 2019 that all of its vehicle will be powered by a hybrid drivetrain.

While information obtained last month showed that the Tacoma will move way from its 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine to two 2.4-litre four-cylinder units, one being equipped with the same hybrid hardware as the Lexus RX 500h, the Hilux is expected to retain diesel motivation and potentially become a diesel/electric.

A configuration reported in 2019 as heading for the then still-born Land Cruiser 300 and last year for the next generation Fortuner, but in 48-volt mild-hybrid configuration, the final verdict remains open to interpretation, but appears likely to happen if comments made by Toyota Australia’s Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley, are anything to go by.

ALSO READ: Hint of new Hilux? Next Toyota Tacoma emerges in patent images

According to carsales.com.au, Hanley, when asked at a local media briefing about the possibility of a hybrid commercial vehicle becoming a reality, called the suggestion “quite conceivable” without going into more details on whether the Hilux or Land Cruiser 70-series would be first the go the hybrid route.

Besides the hybrid switch, claims dating from 2018 about the Hilux being outfitted with a six-cylinder diesel engine have seemingly died down following the introduction of the upgraded 150kW/500Nm 2.8 GD-6 engine two years ago.

V6 an apparent no-no

At the time, Toyota’s President for Argentina, Daniel Herrero, stated that a V6 Hilux could well happen as buyers continue to demand more power.

“There is a segment that may require [a more powerful engine], so we have the obligation to also offer it as an alternative, so that in the short term – again, not this year – we could have such a version,” Herrero told Autoblog Argentina in said year.

In addition, the V6, slated to be have been the 3.3-litre turbodiesel from the Land Cruiser 300, had been tipped for introduction in the on-again, off-again GR Hilux with as much as 230kW/687Nm under foot.

A further suggestion was that the GR Hilux could move to petrol power in order to counter the twin-turbo 3.0 EcoBoost V6 Ford Ranger Raptor by receiving the 3.5-litre badged 3.4-litre twin-turbo V6 that develops 305kW/650Nm in the Land Cruiser 300 and LX.

Full-bore GR a mystery

All of these have so far come to nothing though with hopes of the GR taking a further blow after Yasunori Suezawa, Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Lead Engineer for the GR86, told Drive last year that no additional models above the GR86, GR Supra, GR Corolla and GR Yaris will be made.

“There is none left actually. For the GR [performance brand], basically this [the GR86] is the last,” Suezawa was quoted as saying.

For now, details about the Hilux and whether a GR model will or won’t happen for sure remains unknown and open to continual speculation as the year continues. Expect more of the same to apply but with a preview expected once the wraps come off of the Tacoma.

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