The new Toyota HiLux production date has been pushed back, according to international reports, with the factory tasked with building the Ford Ranger-rumbling dual cab closed due to the coronavirus lockdowns in Thailand.
CarsGuide had understood that the HiLux could launch in Australia as early as July, but that was contingent on production of the new model being unaffected by the pandemic.
Instead, it appears the new HiLux start date has been pushed back to at least May 9, meaning an Australian launch later in 2020. It's worth pointing out here that the May date is only a planned restart date at this point, and it too could be pushed further back as the Thai government continues to respond to coronavirus.
The reports, which appeared on Auto Industriya, quote sources close to the project that report the Thai factory, responsible for both the current HiLux and the face-lifted model, remains on a shutdown order, and that the official build date of the new HiLux has been bumped from May to June, meaning a four week delay at a minimum.
The news follows images of what appear to be the 2021 Toyota HiLux leaking online.
The images, which appear on the Miele Motors website, show a bold new front end, new grille and new LED headlights for top-spec models. The images also capture new 17- or 18-inch alloys, a blacked-out treatment for the grille, new DRLs and a new rear light cluster.
Joining those design changes will be an important change to the HiLux's diesel engine which should see an output increase that will lift outputs by around 20kW and 20Nm, to approximately 150kW and 470Nm.
Those changes will join the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the first time. Toyota is yet to confirm pricing or specification - including engine outputs - for the new model. But watch this space.