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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Toyota makes it clear: Ranger Raptor-rivalling Hilux GR off the table

Shelving of the rumoured step-up from the GR Sport seemingly not a surprise given the apparent arrival of the all-new generation in 2025.

Having faded into obscurity since being last mentioned almost two years ago, Toyota has made it official by confirming it has no plans of introducing a full Gazoo Racing (GR) version of the current Hilux as a step-up from the GR Sport.

Rumour mill stops

First reported in 2020 following the discovery of a trademark application in Australia, subsequent speculative reports alleged the GR Sport would swap the 2.8 GD-6 engine for a high-powered version of the Land Cruiser 300’s 3.3-litre turbodiesel V6 producing as much as 230kW/687Nm.

ALSO READ: Toyota GR Hilux shaping up to be the most powerful ever made

Also mentioned was the use of the 3.5-litre badged 3.4-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 from the Land Cruiser 300 in order to directly target the twin-turbo 3.0 EcoBoost-powered Ford Ranger Raptor with outputs of 310kW/590Nm.

GR boss speaks

In confirming the comments made by its Manager for Light Commercial Vehicles in the United Kingdom, Gareth Matthews, two years ago, Toyota Gazoo Racing President Tomoya Takahashi said plans for a GR Hilux are not part of the division’s portfolio as a fifth model after the GR Yaris, GR Corolla, GR86 and GR Supra.

Despite the lead engineer for the GR86, Yasunori Suezawa, indicating last year that more GR models could be introduced in contradiction of its comments the year before, Takahashi, when asked directly by drive.com.au about the GR Hilux, said, “[Would we make a] GR special car? No. Only GR Sport”.

GR Sport III seeing Hilux out

More than likely as a result of the current generation Hilux being in-line to be replaced by a completely new generation in 2025, the confirmed end of the GR Hilux means the GR Sport III will soldier on as the range-topping “performance” Hilux with its outputs of 165kW/550Nm.

This despite no longer being the most powerful version, an accolade now held by the mild-hybrid 48V, whose standard outputs of 150kW/500Nm increase, momentarily, by 12kW/65Nm for short periods.

Never envisioned in any of its three guises as a Raptor rival in spite of comparisons continuing to be made, the GR Sport III is also unlikely to spawn a more powerful model similar TRD Hilux, which lasted for limited time in 2008 in Australia powered a supercharged version of the venerable 4.0-litre V6 petrol.

Supposedly already previewed by the Tacoma as part of both models’ development being aligned for the first time since 1995, don’t be surprised if details and/or speculation of the new Hilux emerges within the coming months.

NOW READ: GR Hilux likely? Toyota CEO opens door to more new GR models

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