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More powerful Toyota Hilux could boost towing capacity

New Toyota Hilux to land in Australia this year with more power, upgraded suspension. 

Toyota has teased us with a glimpse of its upcoming facelift to the current-generation Hilux ute.

Behind the wheel is ex-F1 racing star Fernando Alonso, who also recently raced a Toyota Hilux (albeit highly modified) in the Dakar Rally. Naturally, his credentials were a fine fit for showing us what the Japanese brand has been up to with its hugely popular ute… though details still remain thin.

Underneath the skin, there has been a revision to the suspension and ride and handling, though it’s not clear if Alonso flicking the Hilux around is indicative of there being a Hilux GR model in the future – though, as we first reported, Toyota Australia has indeed registered that name here.

Added to the improvements is an updated cabin with a new infotainment system loaded with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, plus new materials and design changes. Overall, the ‘new’ 2021 Hilux should be more refined than before, helping the model live strongly until its expected departure in around four years.

Other tweaks include a more powerful engine, with speculation and reports ‘from sources’ alleging that Toyota has turned up the wick on the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel to produce 150kW and almost 480-odd newton metres. Such numbers will be an increase of around 20kW and 50Nm over the current model and might help the manual achieve the same 3500kg braked towing capacity as its auto sibling.

The facelifted Hilux was due to hit dealerships in Australia in July this year, but some delays have pushed out the expected arrival to around September, though nothing is concrete at this stage.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae