Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation is set to introduce the new Hilux this coming September. Aside from the tough exterior facelift and the functional interior upgrades, the Hilux comes with a new 4X2 2.5 diesel variant in a 4X4 body. The new Hilux is one of the main highlights of the Toyota booth at the 2nd Philippine International Motorshow at the World Trade Center from August 21 to 24, 2008.

The Hilux, launched in December of 2004, was at the forefront of innovation in the pick-up segment. As part of Toyota's International Innovative Multipurpose Vehicles (IMV) together with the Innova and Fortuner, the Hilux revolutionized the pick-up landscape with its tough features, state-of-the-art diesel technology, but handsome looks. Prior to its introduction, pick-up trucks were seen purely as a practical workhorse. Adding premium to style and form, combined with a powerful engine, the Hilux reigned supreme for the next three years since its introduction, both in the 4X4 and 4X2 segments, with average annual sales of 2,400 units. The pick-up market registered almost 50 percent growth from 2004 to 2007.

This September, Toyota relaunches the Hilux with a stronger exterior facelift. Minor changes include the chrome radiator grille and front bumper which adapts the standard theme of Toyota SUVs. A flatter alloy wheel design is incorporated, and wider ventilated 15" front disk rotors help dissipate heat quickly. And at last, the spare tire now comes with a standard pad lock, to help against proliferation of spare tire theft.

The interior has more to offer in terms of stylish enhancements starting with a more luxurious metal finish in the instrument panel, and optitron meter gauge with illumination control. The audio system also gets an upgrade, now with a 2-DIN CD unit, which comes with remote control and auxiliary input to accommodate the Ipod to say the least. It has an Auto Sound Levelizer (ASL) to enable automatic volume adjustment, and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) for enhanced noise reduction. Finally, the driving the new Hilux doesn't just give off a feeling toughness, it also gives a feeling of control with the Audio and Multi-Information Display (MID) switches incorporated in the steering wheel. With a touch of a button, the MID provides drivers with instant information such as average speed, estimated running time, cruising range, compass, outside temperature, and best of all, average and current fuel consumption. Many take this feature of the MID for granted, but keeping a constant watch over the fuel consumption helps in driving more fuel efficiently.

The Hilux is powered by Toyota's Direct Injection 4-stroke Common Rail Diesel Engine (D4-D). The D4-D maximizes fuel efficiency by supplying high-pressure injections at all speed levels, increasing engine output and improving combustion. This D4-D technology is found in all Toyota diesel products such as the Innova, Fortuner, and Hiace.

Other than the minor upgrades, the real highlight of the Hilux is the new 4X2 diesel variant with 4X4 looks, powered by an improved 2KD-FTV (Hi) engine. With the same maximum output of 100hp at 3,600rpm as the normal 2.5L diesel engine, this gives additional 60Nm with maximum torque of 260Nm per 1,600 to 2,400rpm. An uncompromised pick-up, the Hilux Pre-Runner still gives a strong driving performance with the tough 4X4 looks to match it with.

The new Hilux, with a line-up of 5 variants, is available in black, grayish brown metallic, dark green mica metallic, white, lithium and dark grey mica metallic. For the 2.5-liter diesel manual transmission, the selling price starts at P807,000 for the J variant, P997,000 for E and P1,047,000 for G variant. For the 3.0-liter engine, the manual transmission is priced at P1,375,000 for manual and P1,431,000 for automatic transmission.