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2016 Toyota Hilux details revealed – Official

Toyota has today released details of its 2016 Toyota HiLux which will launch in Australia in October.

THE PENT UP interest in the coming 2016 Toyota HiLux has been so strong that Toyota has taken the unusual step of revealing it to Australian motoring journalists months in advance of its official launch in October.

The preview was held at Toyota Australia HQ in Caringbah (NSW) 10 years to the day since the last model was launched in 2005 and at the same time as the official global reveal in Thailand.

Understandably, Toyota’s Tony Cramb was only willing to reveal limited information, but a virtually hand-built Australian spec vehicle was on display (albeit with the windows blacked out to disguise the still-being-developed interior.

It’s hard to underestimate the importance of the HiLux to Toyota Australia. More than 850,000 have been sold in Australia, five percent of the global total. The HiLux is the outright third best seller of all vehicles in Australia (and has been as high as second) and over the past five years has averaged close to 40,000 sales a year (if it was a standalone brand it would be 10th in the market).

Big news for the new HiLux is an increase in towing capacity, as expected, to the class benchmark of 3500kg. Payload has been increased; it will be “up to” 1240kg. The new HiLux gets better under body protection, changes to the rib configuration in the tray, improved overall rigidity and better steering response.

There’s a revised suspension setup tuned for Australian conditions, a reduction in weight and an 80L fuel tank compared to the current 76L.   With the improved efficiency that should translate to a useful extra range over the current model, especially considering there’s now six speeds compared to the current model’s five.

Chief engineer for the new HiLux has been Hiroki Nakajima, better known for his work on the, ahem, IQ town car.

Engine choice has been increased to four: two new diesels, an upgraded four-cylinder petrol engine and the V6 will continue unchanged. The 1GD diesel engine is a 2.8-litre unit with torque “up to” 450Nm. The 2GD 2.4-litre unit has torque of “up to” 400Nm. New to the range is the 2TR 2.0-litre petrol engine and the V6 continues unchanged. Standard transmission is a six-speed manual with a six-speed auto also available (explaining the “up to” figures quoted – Mr Cramb was unwilling to go into specific model details or provide a breakdown by variant). Fuel tank has been enlarged to 80 litres.

The HiLux suspension has come in for some attention. It has been developed with considerable Australian input to suit our conditions, and also those of South Africa, Russia and South America. Up front there’s a double wishbone set up with a thicker stabiliser bar. At the rear, the leaf spring arrangement continues, with longer springs and two shock absorbers on each side.

Buyers will have greater choice with 31 variants in the range compared to the previous 23. There will be both 4×2 and 4×4 models, two cab styles and three trim grades. It boasts more head room, shoulder room and knee room. Attention to noise, vibration and harshness, greater sound absorption and quieter diesel engines all contribute to a more car-like driving experience.

The new HiLux is longer, wider and bigger all round, although the roof line is lower. The design is more refined, and more aggressive. The front bumper is deeper and the signature Toyota lower grille is larger. The lower corners have been raised for better clearance. Headlights are LED and there are DRLs. The rear lamps get aero stabilising fins and the rear bumper step has been lowered for easier access to the tray. Depending on model, the HiLux will be offered with 16-inch, 17-inch or 18-inch wheels. All models will get a reversing camera.

Toyota confidently predicts a five-star ANCAP rating (although as others have found, it pays to be cautious when making ANCAP predictions).

The 8th generation HiLux certainly meets the objective of appealing to the changing demographic of crew cab buyers. Previously, the HiLux was selling 70% to fleet buyers (if you include tradie buyers as fleet buyers) but the new model is making a determined pitch to private buyers, both on the basis of its specification and driving characteristics.

There are estimated to be more than half a million Toyota HiLuxes currently on Australian roads. Come October, we can see a lot of them being upgraded to the new model.

Don’t miss our roundup of the 2015 ute market and beyond.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober