Carsguide brought you an exclusive first look at the upcoming 2016 Toyota HiLux last week, and now we can bring you an even clearer look at the all-new model thanks to another intrepid reader.
Robert Grove captured these images of the same convoy of HiLux development mules, travelling very near the Ballarat carpark they were sighted in last week.
“I was driving south on the A300 heading towards Ballarat when I spotted a convoy of very muddy utes coming off the Western Highway up ahead. I thought it was odd and as I got closer I saw that two of them were in light disguises, Robert says.
"Gotcha!, I thought, so I accelerated ahead to get to a spot where I could pull over and capture some photos. Ironically I was in my VW Amarok ute so the look of surprise on the driver’s face of the second camo ute was priceless when I leaned out my window to take his picture!”
Robert’s shots show the same 2WD and 4WD mules as Colin Ozzie Wiese’s images, but confirm that the taller 4WD HiLux is right-hand drive, unlike the left-hand drive 2WD model. The new HiLux will continue to be sold across several left and right-hand oriented markets, and the presence of both in this convoy affirms our earlier observation that this convoy is part of the new model’s global evaluation.
The clearer images appear to show a longer and wider body, with a longer rear overhang and wheelbase than current model. Robert’s shots show an example of the Volkswagen Amarok dual cab in the convoy, and he reports that a D40 Nissan Navara was also present in addition to the Ford Ranger shown in the earlier images.
This suggests that the new HiLux is being benchmarked against these models, which are all longer and wider, with a longer wheelbase than the current HiLux 4WD dual cab’s 5135mm long, 1760mm wide and 3085mm wheelbase.
A larger HiLux will likely bring improved interior packaging and ute-critical payload, tray size and tow capacity gains. With regards to tow capacity at least, the current HiLux’s 2500kg max rating trails behind the 3000kg capability of the Amarok and Navara, and the 3500kg of the Ranger and its Mazda BT-50 mechanical twin.
Such improvements would help the HiLux maintain its number one sales status on the Australian light commercial market, which was also the third best-selling car overall in 2013 behind the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3.