Brian Joss –
Eighth generation “toughie” heading for SA next year
The eighth-generation Toyota Hilux was officially unveiled in Bangkok last week, marking the start of sales of the all-new model in Thailand.
One of the world’s best-known and best-loved nameplates, Hilux first hit dealerships in 1968, selling over 16 million in more than 180 countries, with one million sold in South Africa.
“Completely re-designed from the inside out the all-new Hilux ushers in a radically luxurious interior wrapped in a sophisticated, chiseled new body, offering exceptional on-road performance and new technologies while remaining true to its core values of uncompromising off-road ability and, of course, legendary toughness,” Toyota said.
“Whether you’re battling your way up a muddy track or negotiating the rigours of the urban jungle, reducing the stress of driving is just as important as withstanding the elements. That’s why the new Hilux, while improving on the model’s characteristic ruggedness and performance, is now more occupant-focused and easier to drive.”
To gain inspiration for the eighth-generation Hilux, the development team drove in conditions ranging from rough, muddy forests to deserts with temperatures exceeding 50°C and flooded roads in the rainy season.
Toyota’s QDR (Quality, Durability and Reliability) still forms the backbone of the new Hilux. Fit-for-purpose is a term that describes the newcomer – whether your application is leisure, workhorse, farming or general purpose.
As explained by Hiroki Nakajima, the executive chief engineer behind the Hilux (and also a managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation): ” We aimed to make the new Hilux ‘tougher’ based on a much broader interpretation of that word. The message we want to deliver to our customers is embodied in our slogan for the vehicle: ‘A New Era for Pickup. Every Inch a Hilux.’”
This is echoed by Calvyn Hamman, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Toyota SA: “It’s instantly recognisable as a Hilux, it feels like a Hilux, it drives like a Hilux– only better.”
The main features include a newly developed frame and suspension and engines and transmissions: with significantly improved torque at low speed thanks to new 2.4- and 2.8-litre diesel engines. A stylish instrument panel featuring a unified design aesthetic and free use of metallic decoration, giving a strong yet refined appearance. Other features include and audio system with electrostatic multi-touch control panel, electronic 4WD changeover switch and luxury seats.
The new Hi-Lux will be available in South Africa early next year.