Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
2 minute read
9 Apr 2020
9:52 am

Facelift Toyota Hilux spied with lots still to hide

Charl Bosch

Loadbay which now comes with an integrated one-piece sports bar related to that of the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and Volkswagen Amarok Extreme.

Providing the clearest indication yet of what is to come, the facelift Toyota Hilux has again been spotted undergoing testing in Thailand ahead of its reported unveiling in July this year.

Initially spotted back in January, the latest spy images taken by Australia’s Performance Drive of the still heavily camouflaged model shows what appears to be new headlights, an apparent restyled grille and, thanks to the black-and-white masking, a rounded frontal appearance similar to the current Fortuner.

With even the inside of the alloy wheels wrapped, what seems interesting is the loadbay which now comes with an integrated one-piece sports bar related to that of the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and Volkswagen Amarok Extreme, seemingly suggesting that the prototype is indeed a aesthetically enhanced range-topping model.

Again as a result of the disguise, making out any rear-end differences is virtually impossible, although a careful look at the outline of the light clusters suggests a design comparable to that of the facelift Mitsubishi Triton and the all-new Isuzu D-Max.

While nothing has so far been seen of the interior, previous reports have stated that the Hilux will receive a new Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enabled infotainment system shared with the facelift Fortuner, as well as upgraded materials and possibly even a digital instrument cluster. Speculatively, changes to the specification list and safety systems are likely, although nothing about this is known for certain.

More likely though is the confirmation of rumours that the flagship 2.8 GD-6 engine will be upgraded from the current 130 kW, with the online publication alleging that around 150 kW could be extracted. In addition, models fitted with the six-speed automatic gearbox could see a torque bump from the current 450 Nm to a rumoured 500 Nm, but as mentioned, nothing has yet been cast in stone.

The biggest headline however is the halo GR Hilux which is slated to receive the new six-cylinder turbodiesel engine earmarked for the Land Cruiser 300. With the moniker having been approved by Australia’s Intellectual Property Office last month, the long awaited rival to the Ford Ranger Raptor is likely to produce close to 200 kW as the engine will allegedly be more powerful than the Land Cruiser 200’s 4.5 D-4D V8 which it replaces.

Given the rate at which details and rumours are becoming more prevalent, expect more claims and undisguised images to emerge within the coming weeks and months.

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