The moment news of a go-fast Toyota HiLux coming to battle the Ford Ranger Raptor started to surface, our thoughts went immediately to what would power the performance ute from the Japanese giant.
Toyota axed the V6 petrol from the HiLux range due to a lack of demand, and is on the record as saying a GR version would require a “big diesel”. But no such engine existed in the brand’s sprawling line-up. Until now.
With news that the upcoming LandCruiser 300 Series is set to be launched in 2021 with a thumping V6 diesel engine, some light might have inadvertently been shed on just what will power a go-fast HiLux.
While Toyota is yet to confirm the LandCruiser news, CarsGuide understands the engine will be all-new, and will almost certainly find its way into the Japanese giant’s other products, too, given the production costs involved.
While outputs are yet to be confirmed, you can expect power to meet or exceed the 200kW and 650Nm on offer from the current V8 diesel in the LandCruiser 200 Series.
Those outputs dwarf the current HiLux’s 130kW and 450Nm (from its 2.8-litre diesel), and would also loom over the grunt on offer from the Ranger Raptor (157kW and 500Nm).
The news comes just six weeks after Toyota successfully trademarked the new “GR HiLux” name in Australia, with the Australian Government's IP (intellectual property) office approving the new nameplate on February 18.
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.
"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,” a Toyota spokesperson has told us in the past.
"We race the HiLux in Dakar, so it’s definitely not out of the question that we could see a vehicle like that some time in the future."