The HiLux is now more Australian than ever, thanks to the development and evaluation work performed by Toyota Australia’s design and engineering teams for both local and international markets.
The company’s local design team played a considerable role in styling the exterior of the HiLux range, as part of an international team, while its local engineers focused on evaluating and helping to develop upgrades to power and torque, suspension and steering.
Both Australian teams worked extensively with their Toyota counterparts in Japan and Thailand to deliver new HiLux’s bolder looks while offering even stronger performance, enhanced ride comfort and a more precise steering feel.
Toyota Australia’s Product Design Manager Peter Elliott said the brief was to develop a simple and strong athletic pick-up truck, a vehicle that was tough and genuine.
“From the beginning, our sketches investigated bold and tough themes that centred on a larger, more vertical trapezoid grille enhanced by an upper bonnet moulding and lower bumper components that lock into the grille surround,” Mr Elliott said.
“The headlamps have been moved outboard and they now connect with the distinctly chiselled bumper corners, linking the design. We progressed through clay models and CAD, evolving the idea to be cohesive with the rest of the vehicle, while maintaining maximum visual impact.
“The final design was milled as a full-size clay model and shipped to Japan, where it was well received as a bold step forward with a strong Toyota DNA.”
Development and evaluation of the 2.8-litre engine, suspension and steering in Australia was conducted in collaboration with teams from Japan and Thailand, as well as representatives from other markets.
Each part of the new package was tested in Australia to confirm that it met the performance targets in real-world customer conditions as well as on test benches and test tracks.
Toyota has announced far-reaching changes to HiLux that significantly advance the performance, handling and emotional appeal of Australia’s best-selling vehicle. All vehicles from WorkMate to SR5 grades will go on sale from tomorrow.
Toyota Australia’s design studio participated in an international team to deliver a bolder, tougher look for the wide-body 4×2 Hi-Rider and 4×4 extra and double cabs.
The company’s Australian engineers were also involved in the global development of a more powerful 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine.
A raft of changes has been implemented to lift maximum power to 150kW and peak torque on automatic models to 500Nm while improving fuel consumption by as much as 11.1 per cent.
As a result of the technical changes, braked towing capacity is now 3500kg2 for all 4×4 variants while 4×2 diesel variants are rated at 2800kg2, an increase of up to 300kg.
Powerful on-road presence is achieved by a large trapezoidal grille that dominates the front design and incorporates more pronounced horizontal elements to deliver a wider, more planted look. Grille surrounds are black for Workmate, grey for SR and chrome for SR5.
The interior design theme for facelifted HiLux amplifies the balance between the durability and functionality required for work use and the refinement of an SUV.
New standard features include voice recognition, Apple CarPlay4, Android Auto5 and myToyota, which enables third-party companion applications such as Waze, AccuWeather and Stitcher. SR5 comes standard with satellite8 navigation and digital radio (DAB)9. There are six speakers for SR and SR5 double cabs, four for SR and SR5 extra cabs and two for single cabs and Workmate variants.
Toyota has wrought substantial improvements from the two HiLux turbo-diesel engines with the main focus being the 2.8-litre four-cylinder 1GD, which now develops 150kW and up to 500Nm with a recalibrated six-speed electronic automatic transmission. Torque with the six-speed intelligent manual gearbox is 420Nm.
Toyota engineers improved performance and fuel economy simultaneously by adopting a larger, heavy-duty turbocharger with a ball-bearing cartridge for exceptionally crisp and strong throttle response, and a new common-rail injection system with a higher maximum fuel pressure of 250 MPa.
The 1GD engine’s smaller sibling, the 110kW/400Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder 2GD, shares in refinements that improve cooling and fuel economy, including the higher-pressure common-rail system, optimised pistons and rings, and the alternator which has been uprated from 80 to 100 Amps.
HiLux 4×2 Workmate single and double cabs are also available with the 122kW/245Nm 2.7-litre four-cylinder petrol engine matched with either a five-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic.
The 2020 facelift has resulted in retuning of spring rates, shock absorbers and suspension bushes as well as revised cabin mounts. These improvements are designed to deliver a more agile handling response and improving ride comfort, particularly when unladen on country roads and over speed humps.
HiLux retains its rigid, impact-absorbing structure, full range of electronic braking and traction-control technologies, emergency stop signal (hazard lights), reversing camera (pick-ups), seven airbags, and seatbelt reminders for all seats. On double-cab variants, the rear seats have two top tether anchors and two ISOFIX points.