Late last year, Toyota surprised the motoring world when they released the 2020 Hilux GR Sport. Donning a sportier look compared to the standard version, the pick-up truck gets Gazoo Racing (GR) body graphics, exterior upgrades, a stiffer set of springs and dampers, along with a 4.0-liter, gasoline V6 that can be mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

All well and good but some view the GR Hilux Sport as nothing more than an appearance pack with some minor suspension upgrades. However, it seems that was a preview of things to come, if they push through with it, that is. It appears that Toyota has been working on a high-performance version of the popular pick-up, albeit very discreetly.

Is Toyota developing a Ranger Raptor-fighter with GR Hilux? image

Recently, the company filed a trademark in Australia for the 'GR Hilux' name. The automaker actually filed it way back in July 20, 2019 but it was only in February 18 of this year did Australia's Intellectual Property Office granted Toyota's request. With it, this could mean that Toyota will use the name for a high-performance version of their pick-up truck that could take on the likes of the Ford Ranger Raptor.

While it sounds like Australia will get their hands on it first (if it goes into production), do note that automakers file trademarks in various countries as well. For example, the name Lexus LX 600 was filed here in the Philippines, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it will be sold here first. That said, the possible performance pick-up is likely to be undergoing tests in Australia aside from the usual Arctic and desert proving grounds.

Is Toyota developing a Ranger Raptor-fighter with GR Hilux? image

No official specs or photos of the rumored GR Hilux have yet to make their way to the internet. But given that the GR Yaris took inspiration from the company's WRC rally car, the GR Hilux could borrow some styling and technology cues from the Dakar Hilux. There is also no word whether the GR pick-up truck will come with a turbo-diesel or a gasoline V6.

With Toyota looking to broaden their Gazoo Racing models with the Corolla Hatchback and C-HR GR variants, the rumored GR Hilux could be just one of many models the automaker is looking to build and sell soon for enthusiasts to enjoy. Here's to hoping that the GR Hilux (as well as the other models mentioned) become reality.