Ever since the Ford Ranger Raptor came out, there have been a lot of reports saying that other automakers are going to follow suit. There have been a few who have made gussied-up versions of their pickups, but none have emerged so far.
Then there's Toyota, who just made it public that they want to make a Hilux that's purely engineered by Gazoo Racing. Gazoo Racing is the motorsport division of Toyota, and their chief said that he's been lobbying a high-performance version of their best-selling pickup.
What they have in mind is something completely different from the Hilux GR Sport they're currently making. While Gazoo Racing did have some input in that model, it's more of a slightly tweaked model than actual Ranger Raptor fighter. There are appearance upgrades and slightly more beefy suspension, but not much else.
The Gazoo-engineered model on the other hand will draw inspiration from their exploits in Dakar racing. “We won Dakar first with the Hilux as Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa. We would like to realise the actual product of Gazoo Racing. Dakar is one of the stages to realise that; a racing Hilux and a customer commercial product,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, president of Toyota Gazoo Racing.
With that in mind, the Hilux's suspension could be totally revamped, and could even come with coil springs and heavier duty axles. The suspension tracks and widths could also be changed if Toyota's intention is to build a desert racer for the road. Also, ground clearance will likely be raised, as well as engine power. If the brand wants to go head to head with the Ford, we might be looking at 200 PS at the very least.
But for now, Tomoyama is pushing for such a product and there's no word whether or not there is actual development ongoing. Of course, we'd like to see another pickup that can do battle with the hot pickup from Ford. Here's to hoping we see it in a year or two.
Source: Automotive News Europe