Toyota is allegedly working on two new HiLux models, one based on the HiLux Tonka and the other more luxurious…

TOYOTA IS WORKING on two new variants of the Toyota HiLux, one will be based on the recently revealed HiLux Tonka Concept and another will be aimed at the top end of the dual-cab ute market with a more luxurious interior, according to a source who has seen both variants.

Based on reports by our source, Practical Motoring has worked up a com-gen image of what the HiLux Rugged could look like. Rugged is allegedly the name of the new Tonka-based variant. The luxury-spec Hilux will, according to our source, be called Refined.

The tougher variant, which might be named the ‘HiLux Rugged’, will borrow design cues from the extreme Toyota HiLux Tonka concept unveiled earlier this year. The front bar is expected to be similar but with a less aggressive wheel arch and underbody body protection plate than that of the toy-like truck.

Interestingly, the Toyota Tonka, which will never drive on more than a short closed circuit, was designed so the front bumper is compatible with Toyota’s latest safety systems…

The Tonka was also designed and assembled by Toyota teams in Australia, except for the portal axles which were engineered by Marks 4WD in Melbourne. It is not expected that the Rugged model will have the same ground clearance as the HiLux Tonka. The future model is also slated to feature new alloy wheels, A/T tyres, roof mounted LED light array and snorkel.

When approached for comment, Toyota Australia would not confirm that any styling or parts from the HiLux Tonka would be available in an upcoming model.

Toyota Australia product public relations manager, Steve Coughlan said that although the Tonka is only a concept, Toyota is actively gauging market demand: “Both (TRD and Tonka) showcase the rugged nature of the Hilux and whilst only the TRD accessorised models are destined for show rooms, we’ll certainly be monitoring public feedback to both offerings.”

Along with the tougher model was also an SR5 grade HiLux with improved luxury and refinement that could compete with the current top-spec Volkswagen Amarok and Ford Ranger, and incoming Mercedes-Benz X-Class ute. The luxury model featured slightly different styling to current HiLux models and could be positioned as the most expensive HiLux in the lineup, with a far more luxurious interior.

Question: Should Toyota release a more extreme version of the HiLux based on the HiLux Tonka Concept, and chase the top-end of town with something more luxurious?


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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.


  1. In name at least the HiLux is already a luxury vehicle….though I’m still not sure which luxuries Toyota were referring to when they coined it….

  2. ‘scoop’???? Performance Drive covered this first as an exclusive over a month before this…WTF?

    1. Thanks Chris. We had no idea that Performance Drive had written about this when we produced our story. Ours was based on a conversation with someone involved in a presentation at Toyota; our com-gen image was based off what we were told. The headline has been changed, but the content is our own. – Isaac – Editor.

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