Last week, images of what appeared to be the 2021 Toyota Hilux made their way onto the web. Despite the grainy images, the refreshed pick-up truck gets a noticeable makeover, along with what looks to be a revised GR Sport variant.

Now, the company is gearing up for its eventual reveal and what better way to make itself known than by putting it through its paces. But instead of just having one of their test drivers see just how the updated pick-up truck performs, Toyota thought it would be best to have two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso put the Hilux through the wringer.

From hot desert terrain, through windy dirt roads, as well as on gravel, Alonso put the Hilux through a rigorous regiment. While some might think Alonso is out of his territory testing the Hilux, do remember that Alonso got to drive an early prototype of the 2021 Hilux, as well as pilot a rally raid-spec Gazoo Racing Hilux during the 2020 Dakar Rally.

After being able to test the truck's abilities through different terrains, Alonso was impressed with what the pick-up was able to deliver.

“The Hilux is an icon and I’ve always been a fan of this car. When I first saw the New Hilux, it looked spectacular. It was nice to test the new car in a difficult environment, on a rally stage, and to push it to the limits. The new 2.8-liter engine behaves really well and the new suspension feels great. Even if you push the Hilux to the limit, the comfort is still there. I think the New Hilux can be invincible,” said Alonso.

Toyota did not reveal the specifics of the 2021 Hilux. However, they did say that pick-up will have a new 2.8-liter turbo-diesel engine under the hood. We're not exactly sure what they mean by “new” but it could mean that it will be more powerful than before. Moreover, Toyota mentioned that the Hilux will have a new suspension geometry as well.

As far as its looks are concerned, the camouflaged prototype does appear to resemble the disguised units that were spotted a few months ago in Thailand. But since the pick-up Alonso drove appears to already be the real thing, the 2021 Hilux does look like it gets a new front fascia design, and maybe a new set of wheels.

When will the 2021 Toyota Hilux make its official debut? We need not wait longer as both it and the updated Fortuner will be revealed in full this coming June 4 in Thailand. This means that it might not be long before its arrival in the Philippines.