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Meet the mega HiLux: New GR-badged monster scores LC300's booming 650Nm twin-turbo petrol V6

This Dakar-ready HiLux is the ultimate tough truck.

Toyota has finally put the LC300's engine in a GR-branded HiLux, but that doesn't necessarily put you any closer to climbing behind the wheel of it.

This is the new Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+, which has been built by Toyota's Gazoo Racing division to take the T1 class at the Dakar Rally.

The big news, though, is under the bonnet, where Toyota has lifted the 3.5-litre twin-turbo powered petrol V6 engine LandCruiser 300 Series (the engine offered overseas), which produces a massive 305kW and 650Nm in its standard guise.

It's fair to say, though, that it's unlikely to remain standard, given nothing else on this race-bred rally truck. It's fitted with 37-inch tyres, and there's 350mm of suspension travel.

“The Dakar is one of the toughest races on the planet, but it suits our new Hilux perfectly," says Toyota driver, Giniel de Villiers.

"The new wheels, suspension travel and especially the move to the turbo-powered petrol engine from the LandCruiser, is sure to make a big difference to our campaign.

"The engine is highly responsive, and allows us to push the new car to the limit. Saudi has proven to be a worthy host for the race and we expect that this will again be the case in 2022.”

So will Toyota be going from race to road with a GR HiLux? The short answer is yes, though whether it borrows much from this beast us debatable.

We do know that the GR HiLux, which has already been trademarked in Australia, will produce more power than the current model, which points to the adoption of the LC300's powertrain, though more likely the 3.3-litre twin-turbo-diesel.

Asked directly recently whether a new GR HiLux would need to produce more power to worthy of the badge, Toyota Australia's General Manager of Product Planning and Development, Rod Ferguson, replied "that would be a fair assumption."

"HiLux is a very important model to us, and clearly we want to keep improving and doing things to the HiLux, but we haven’t gotten anything else to announce for HiLux," he says.

"Clearly it’s our ambitions o offer more product variations, and stretch that product in as many different directions as we can, that’s clearly our ambition."

Toyota has previously promised that any car given the GR badge would benefit from "noticeable" performance upgrades from its regular counterparts. And that means a GR HiLux would have to up the performance factor, no matter whether the focus is then on the road or off it.

“The plan for us is that any product that comes into Australia with Gazoo-racing branding will primarily be focused on performance. It needs to be the full package. It needs to show a noticeable performance increase on our standard line-up,” a spokesperson told CarsGuide in the past.

"We’re always taking a keen interest in the high-performance ute market, but at this stage we have nothing announce. But like we’ve said in the past, we are not ruling truly out any model from GR modification."