Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Toyota Hilux GR-S overtakes Ford Ranger to close gap on Amarok

Uptuned version of South Africa's favourite bakkie will be more powerful than its main rival the Ford Ranger.

Already South Africa’s overall best-selling vehicle, the Toyota Hilux is set to further boost its popularity with the introduction of a new GR Sport (GR-S) model.

Unlike the first Toyota Hilux GR-S of which only 600 models was offered in 2019, the new version will also feature a power bump over standard models.

It will 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, a 15kW/50Nm increase over the 2.8-litre mill in standard guise.

The 190 kW V6 VW Amarok is the only production bakkie in South Africa that produces more power.

The local engine line-up of the new Ford Ranger, which is expected to make its local debut late this year, has not been announced yet. The most powerful mill in the Ranger’s current line-up, the 157kW/500Nm 2.0-litre bi-turbodiesel engine, will also serve on the new model, with much speculations over whether a V6 will be offered locally.

Like the first version Toyota Hilux GR Sport, the new edition will also feature a suspension upgrade and be differentiated from its siblings by virtue of GR Sport finishes.

The Toyota Hilux GR-S features several styling enhancements.

“Its power output of 165 kW of power and 550 Nm of torque is the one feature that really stands out. More power is exactly what the customers want,” says Leon Theron, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM).

The pricing and final specification list has nor been finalised yet, with TSAM hoping to roll the Toyota Hilux GR-S out “around May”.

ALSO READ: Price: Toyota Hilux specification sheet updated

Another GR Sport model, this time in the Corolla Cross, is expected to be introduced around the same time.
The Corolla Cross has been a runaway success with sales grossing over 5 000 units in the first three months from its launch in November.

The Corolla Cross GR-S will be based on the flagship 1.8-litre petrol Xr model and the enhancements will be purely cosmetic. Expect pricing and availability to be announced in the next few months.

Toyota has also announced the expansion of the RAV4’s hybrid line-up in 2022. A dual-power source option joined the RAV4 range for the first time in 2021 in mid spec trim and two more hybrids in higher trim levels are set to join the SUV’s line-up this year.

For more information on current Toyota products, click here.

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