The ultimate name in 4x4, one trusted in the most extreme conditions, now has a new model. The best part is that they've built it on a truck that we all know very well: the new Hilux Conquest.
Arctic Trucks, yes the company that is famed for vehicles built to take on challenging polar expeditions, has just released the latest version of the Hilux AT35 based on the newly facelifted Hilux Invincible X double cab. In the Philippines, the direct equivalent of the Invincible X is the Hilux Conquest (sans a few features like the JBL speaker system), and both are made in Thailand.
Pre-facelift Hilux AT35
Arctic Trucks is no stranger to modifying the Hilux; actually they have partnered up with a lot of automakers with special or upgraded 4x4 models, offering packages for a variety of models. Some automakers (particularly in Europe) even offer Arctic Trucks packages for their vehicles like the Hilux, Navara, D-Max, and more. Actually, the AT35 has been offered in the pre-facelift Hilux Invincible X, but has been now extended to the new model.
The AT35 package for the Hilux sees a variety of exterior updates and upgrades all around. The body has been fitted with wider wheel arches to accommodate the tires and the wider track. The AT35 is wider than the model it's based on at 1990mm (+90mm) and taller at 1905mm (+90mm). The front and rear track are both wider by 110mm. Vehicle length is unchanged at 5325mm.
Underchassis armoring protects the frame from damage. There's also a different side step over standard models along with a roll bar (albeit not frame mounted) with a bed cover. There's also an option to add a lightbar on the front grille.
The major upgrades are in the chassis department, most particularly to the suspension. A special Bilstein Performance Suspension System has been fitted which has different springs, dampers, shackles, anti-roll bars, and more. The suspension upgrade gives the Hilux AT35 an extra 40mm of lift in front and 20mm in the back.
The AT in AT35 stands for the company, but what gives the AT35 (or any other of their models) its name is the outer diameter of the tires at 35 inches. The AT35 uses 17x10” wheels with 315/70/35 BFGoodrich K02 tires; these are actually the same tire model used in the Ranger Raptor up until Ford decided to go with a different supplier. For an extra fee, the tires can be swapped out for a more capable set of KM3 tires which would include a compressor in the engine bay to allow drivers (explorers, really) to adjust the tire pressure to the conditions, particularly for driving on soft snow and loose terrain.
The company didn't make any adjustments to the powertrain as this still has the same 2.8-liter turbodiesel with 204 PS and 500 Nm under the hood. What Arctic Trucks did is to re-gear the front and rear differentials to suit the system for better torque and drivability. That would have been necessary given that the vehicle now weighs an extra 72 kilos, bringing the curb weight to 2272 kg.
The upgrade isn't for the budget conscious. The AT35 package is being offered by Toyota dealers in the UK for an extra GBP 18,780 (or about PHP 1.24 million) plus VAT, but it does preserve the warranty and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
It's very unlikely that this package will be offered by Toyota dealers in the Philippines as AT has no official presence (as far as we know) yet in our market or even the region. The closest one to our region is Arctic Trucks Middle East.