Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Toyota Hilux GR-S release delayed due to flood damage at Durban assembly plant

Hottest Hilux will produce 165 kW of power to overtake Ford Ranger and close gap on 190 kW Amarok.

Bakkie buyers hoping to get their hands on what is bound to be the fastest production Toyota Hilux ever in South Africa will have to wait until at least July.

Production delays due to damage at Toyota’s assembly plant in Prospecton, Durban caused by the devastating recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal means that the highly-anticipated Hilux GR Sport (GR-S) will not be available before July.

Production at the assembly plant, which builds the Hilux, Fortuner, HiAce, Corolla Quest and Cross, has been set back an estimated 12 weeks.

The hottest Toyota Hilux ever is said to be based on the Raider trim level and powered by an uptuned version of the 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine that serves on the rest of the range.

It will produce 165 kW of power and 550 Nm of torque which is 15 kW and 50 Nm more than the outputs of the 2.8-litre mill in standard guise.

“We can’t give an exact date yet, but it will most definitely no be before the third quarter of 2022,” says Riaan Esterhuysen, Manager Marketing and Product Communications at Toyota Motors South Africa.

Badging on the roll bar of the new Toyota Hilux GR-S.

Esterhuysen also confirmed that the new bakkie will not be a limited edition like the first Toyota Hilux GR-S that was offered in 2019 and limited to only 600 models.

The first edition features suspension upgrades and flashy GR Sport decals, but not a power bump.

“The new Hilux will take its place in the range’s line-up with no restrictions on production numbers. Pricing and exact specifications will be confirmed in due course,” he said.

The Toyota Hilux is already South Africa’s overall best-selling vehicle and the new derivative is set to further boost its popularity. It will also set the cat among the pigeons as far as bakkie performance goes.

The 165 kW/550 Nm Toyota Hilux GR-S will overtake the fastest version of its great rival the Ford Ranger, which is powered by a 157kW/500Nm 2.0-litre bi-turbodiesel engine.

ALSO READ: WATCH: New Ford Ranger makes dramatic first appearance in South Africa

It will also close the gap on the 190 kW V6 VW Amarok which will be the only production bakkie in South Africa to produce more power.

But the local bakkie landscape faces a dramatic change once the new Ford Ranger and VW Amarok, which is built by Ford too, are expected to be rolled out late in the year.

Ford has confirmed that the Silverton-built Ranger line-up will feature a new 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel model that will produce 184 kW of power and 600 Nm of torque.

In addition the beastly new Ford Ranger Raptor will be powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 engine producing 292kW/583Nm.

For more information on the current Toyota Hilux line-up, click here.

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