Motoring | Motoring News
Jaco Van Der Merwe
Remember the Toyota television ad where the school boys were bragging about their dads’ Hilux bakkies? It finished with one of them proudly proclaiming that his dad’s Hilux was “tougherer” than the others. With so many bakkies operating exclusively between homes, offices, schools and malls, school yard debates over whose bakkie is “fasterer” are actually more relevant than their toughness.
Despite being South Africa’s top-selling bakkie for what feels like an eternity, Hilux has never featured high in the speed stakes. Judging by its phenomenal sales figures this matters very little for the majority of bakkie buyers, but it’s something that nonetheless plays into the hands of Toyota’s main rival, Ford.
In fact, the Blue Oval had two engine derivatives, the 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre TDCi and 157kW/500Nm 2.0-litre bi-turbo that could outrace the flagship Hilux double cab featuring the 130kW/450Nm 2.8 GD-6 oil-burning heart. And by outrace I mean both of the those Rangers getting from 0 to 100km/h in a full second faster than the Hilux. But this all changed with the recent introduction of the powered-up Hilux.
By means of a larger turbocharger and new common-rail injection system, the 2.8-litre GD-6 benefits from a power bump of 20 kW of power and 50 Nm of torque, which means that the new totals of 150kW/500Nm weight up very evenly with its Ranger rivals. But cars don’t run on paper and these numbers won’t mean anything if they are not backed up on the tarmac.
So we took the new Hilux in 2.8 GD-6 double cab 4×4 Legend RS auto guise off to Gerotek Testing Facilities armed with Road Test Editor Mark Jones’ high-tech timing equipment for a race against the clock. And for added value, we took along our long-term Ranger 2.0 BiT Thunder 4×4 auto to let our subjects square off for a drag race too for some added fun.
As we expected, the new Hilux outperformed its Raider sibling Mark tested back in 2016 by shaving off 1.04 sec on the 0 to 100 km/h time, slashing that number from 13.42 to 12.38 sec. It is important to note that the Legend was slower off the line than the Raider was due to its increased weight. The larger turbo shows the lag off the line but from there it does its work higher up the rev range. In the end the new Hilux managed to reach 140km/h over four seconds faster than before.
For the Legend’s comprehensive test results, click here.
The obvious question is now, how does the new and improved Hilux stack up against the Ranger? The short answer: very interestingly. As far as the shootout against the Thunder went, the Hilux won.
For the Thunder’s comprehensive test results, click here.
Because the Thunder is slightly heavier than the similarly powered Wildtrak we tested last year, it performed slightly slower than its sibling. Where the Wildtrak took 12.45 sec to reach 100 km/h from a standstill, the Thunder could only manage 12.78 sec. Although it has to be noted the Thunder was quicker off the line and managed to stay ahead of the Legend until the 80 km/h mark before being hauled in by the Toyota.
Note that the actual data was not recorded during our drag race and the video shots is not an accurate reflection of the bakkie’s individual times. It is mere impossible to get them both off the line at the exact same time and even a fraction of a second lost on the line will make a huge difference during the sprint.
RELATED: WATCH: Drag Race: Powered-up Toyota Hilux vs Ford Ranger Thunder
The most interesting part of this whole rivalry is that Ford’s 3.2 TDCi was still faster from a standstill to 100km/h than the powered-up Hilux, albeit by the slimmest of margins. Our 2016 test results for the five-cylinder TDCi, which is still offered in Wildtrak and Thunder guise, show that this Ford took 12.34 sec to go from 0 to 100 km/h, 0.04 sec faster than the new Hilux.
These margins are tiny, but they do show that Toyota has managed to match one of Ford’s major trump cards in their ongoing double cab bakkie warfare. As if the race between the two wasn’t close before, it just got a whole lot “closerer”.
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