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Our first hint of the all-new Toyota HiLux? Mega-important ute set for early mark to take fight to the Ford Ranger - reports

Is this our first look at the all-new Toyota HiLux? (Image credit: TFL)

This might be our first hint of an all-new Toyota HiLux (kind of), with reports pointing to the all-important workhorse getting an early mark to take on the all-new Ford Ranger in the quest of dual-cab dominance.

US site The Fast Lane captured footage of what it thinks is the all-new Toyota Tacoma testing in America. Now it must be said, the reports are unverified by Toyota, and the vehicle in question is heavily, heavily camouflaged. See for yourself below.

If this is the new Tacoma testing, then it would add credibility to international reports that the model is set for something of an early mark, with a 2023 launch date on the cards, rather than 2024 or even 2025.

Why are we showing you what could be a new Tacoma when you live in HiLux country? Because credible reports from America's MotorTrend claim Toyota's commercial vehicle range will shift onto the same TNGA platform as the Tundra and LC300, with a new global architecture shared across the HiLux, the Tacoma, the US-spec 4Runner, and its Aussie sibling, the Fortuner.

Is this the new Tacoma? Is this the new Tacoma?

So a new Tacoma would mean a new HiLux, and an early mark is good news for everyone. It could also mean we see the long-awaited GR HiLux sooner than expected, with that model tipped to be packing the LandCruiser's thumping twin-turbo V6.

Toyota says its new ladder-frame TNGA platform is more rigid, and more lightweight, than the architecture it replaces, and it appears no less capable either. It also means the vehicles will also share engine options, cabin technology and safety equipment, though similar models, like the HiLux and Tacoma, should retain their own distinctive styling.

WIll all of this come to fruition? Only time will tell.