While many of us may have gone through a lot of binge eating during the Christmas season, the range-topping Toyota Hilux GR Sport looks like it was busy spending the holidays in the gym.
Toyota Australia officially held the world premiere of the new-and-improved Hilux GR Sport, featuring a wider body, beefier components underneath, and most importantly, more power.
The Hilux GR Sport follows the widebody trend first seen in the Hilux Rogue last year. As it stands, the GR Sport is 140 mm wider in the front axle while the rear axle width was increased by 155 mm. Official dimensions measure the Hilux GR Sport at 5320 mm long, 2020 mm wide, and 1880 mm tall. Compared to the GR Sport we currently have in the Philippines, the new model is 120mm wider and 65 mm taller.
Toyota installed dedicated monotube shock absorbers, stiffer coil springs and promised a more optimal front/rear suspension balance to deliver better handling. As a result of the increased track width, Toyota says cornering stability and steering response have also improved.
In terms of styling, Toyota says the new GR Sport was inspired by the Hilux Dakar rally truck, with its exterior body parts sculpted in the wind tunnel for optimum aerodynamic efficiency. The large front grille was designed for maximum cooling purposes and features the signature GR grille mesh and the TOYOTA lettering in the middle.
As with the old Hilux GR Sport, the new model rides on 17-inch wheels but with chunkier all-terrain tires. Underneath, Toyota added a skid plate and rock rails to reinforce its underbelly. For better-stopping power, the GR Sport now has four-piston brake calipers to clamp on the 338mm front discs, while the rear has 312mm discs with single-piston floating calipers like the ones on the Hilux Rogue.
Meanwhile, Toyota left the GR Sport's interior untouched, featuring the familiar black upholstery with red stitching and GR branding on various areas in the cabin.
The 2023 Toyota Hilux GR Sport also has its power and torque increased from its 2.8-liter 1GD-FTV engine. The turbodiesel now puts out 224 PS at 3000 rpm and 550 Nm of torque at 2800 rpm. Toyota says the six-speed automatic transmission has been retuned for a sportier feel and adds confidence during acceleration and overtaking.
The initial press release did not mention about the Hilux GR Sport's safety and driver assist features, but we should expect the existing equipment to be carried over to the new model, including the Toyota Safety Sense.
Toyota announced the new Hilux GR Sport will be launched in Australia in the second half of 2023. And while no information has been released yet if this will replace the current model we have, we'd love to see it go against the Ford Ranger Raptor here.