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By Mark Jones

Road Test Editor

Toyota Hilux GR-S III to lose ground on Ranger, Amarok and D-Max

Same engine moving bigger bakkie through the air will result in slower sprint time.

The official launch of the latest version of the Toyota Hilux GR Sport, the GR-S III, is just around the corner.

While it will be the meanest-looking and most capable iteration of this bakkie yet, it will hand back its performance crown to the Ford Ranger, VW Amarok and Isuzu D-Max all in one go.

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Same power for Toyota Hilux GR-S III

While there are some very noticeable changes, what hasn’t changed is the tried and tested 2.8-litre, four-cylinder, turbodiesel, powerplant that does duty here again on the Toyota Hilux GR-S III. This means that the class-leading 165 kW of power and 550 Nm of torque on tap that was good enough to pip the competition previously, has not seen a bump, but now must move more Toyota Hilux than ever before.

Make no mistake, it was a close-run thing with the top five all running a 0-100 km/h time in the 10-second bracket. The Toyota Hilux GR Sport II came in with a 10.32, the Amarok with a 10.38, the Isuzu with a 10.59 and the Ranger with a 10.71. But this is all set to change.

The length of this new bakkie stays the same as its standard double cab siblings at 5 325mm. But the width has increased from 1 900 mm to 2 020 mm, and at 1 865 mm it is now 50 mm taller.

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More metal to move

These aggressive widebody looks that have everybody excited mean that there is a bigger piece of machinery to move through the air. And this is going to slow the Toyota Hilux GR-S III down in terms of performance on the road.

A revised suspension with monotube dampers riding on grippy 265/65 R17 BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres versus the standard road biased RS tyres that come in at 265/60 R18 are also going to play their roll. It will add to the drag experienced by this off-road focused machine.

The Citizen Motoring predicts that the Toyota Hilux GR-S III is going to run back in the 11s. But this will not make too much difference to potential owners because there is more to this bakkie.

Toyota Hilux GR-S a looker

It comes in a choice of four exterior colours, red, white, black, and grey, with big black over fenders and black side steeps. It also gets a black styling bar, tonneau cover, towbar, rubberised load bay, two-tone decals and silver coloured front bash plate. Plus model-specific bumpers and a new black grille featuring bold “Toyota” lettering.

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On the inside you will get a healthy mix of leather and Alcantara. It also features GR branded carpets, start button, branded steering wheel, and front-seat headrests.

The Toyota Hilux GR-S III will be officially rolled out locally early in April.

Bakkie numbers

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