Toyota has successfully trademarked the “GR HiLux” in Australia, with the Australian Government's IP (intellectual property) office approving the new nameplate on February 18.
The trademark, registered to the brand's global headquarters in Japan, was first submitted in July 2019, but after a long examination period, the nameplate has now finally been approved. The only thing now stopping the GR HiLux from becoming a Toyota trademark in Australia is potential opposition from anyone currently using a similar name.
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 brand recently unveiled a V6-powered GR Sport model exclusive to South America late last year, though it is understood that a proper GR-badged car would have to increase the performance factor again. That model ditches the four-cylinder powerplant in favour of a 4.0-litre V6 unit, which delivers 175kW and 375Nm.
Toyota here told CarsGuide "there's a very small chance" of that car arriving locally. But a spokesperson did point to us getting our own go-fast HiLux in the future, adding fuel to this patent filing fire.
“There’s a very small chance of that for Australia,” a Toyota spokesperson told CarsGuide in November last year. “That was an engine that we discontinued in Australia, due to market demand.
"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.
"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.”
Now it must be said, a trademark filing is no guarantee of production, and Toyota Australia has issued CarsGuide the following statement:
"It is standard practice for our parent company to reserve vehicle names that could potentially be used in future, as a means of protecting that name for future use. This is done in all key markets as a matter of course. There are definitely no plans to introduce a GR Hilux at this stage, but as always, it is something that we would definitely not rule out for the future, especially with the high level of interest locally for high performance utes.”