Toyota Hilux gains muscles

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The striking feature of the new Toyota Hilux is the advanced exterior design. At the front, a prominent grille with strong horizontal bars extends towards the wrap-around headlights, creating a powerful, unified look. Protruding, integrated fender flares add to the rugged appearance. Viewed from the side, muscular wheel flares perfectly tie in with the strong virtual line which flows from the front, to the rear of the vehicle.

The cab roof has been carefully shaped to improve both its styling and practicality. It now features an aerodynamic ‘pagoda’-style V-shape which helps channel air over the roof and off the sides of the vehicle, rather than into the deck area, preventing turbulence and drag.

Dramatic changes are also visible inside where, taking centre stage is the new high-tech touch screen audio system, which seems to ‘float’ from the centre of the dash. Featuring a flat-panel design, flick operation and capacitive touch technology, the advanced audio system is a marvel. When the unit is powered off, another party trick is revealed, as all illumination is suspended creating a tablet-type look and feel.

The driver instrumentation follows suit with higher grade models receiving a full colour 4.2” TFT multi-information display, with easy-to-read displays and powerful shapes, all adding to the advanced toughness theme.

Powering the new Hilux will be a range of newly developed engines, which offer improved power output, efficiency and refinement. The new ‘Global Diesel’ series was developed from the ground up, and feature a number of advancements to provide a superb driving experience both on – and off road.

The GD series engines are offered in 2.4 and 2.8 litre guise, with both versions placing strong emphasis on torque output and low-speed tractability. Both variants make use of DOHC, 16-valve, four-cylinder inline architecture and utilise Variable Nozzle Turbocharger (VNT) technology, which deliver the compressed air through a new front-mounted intercooler. Forming the starting point of the diesel range is a 2393cc unit offering 110 kW and 343 Nm, which is employed in the utility-focussed models. A higher output variant of the 2.4 litre is also on offer, delivering the same peak power with a boost in torque to 400 Nm, available between 1600 and 2000 rpm.

Serving as the diesel flagship, the 2755cc GD engine offers buyers a stout 130 kW and effortless 420Nm from 1600 to 2400 rpm in manual guise – automatic transmission versions will receive a boost to 450Nm over the same rpm span.

The fuel efficiency of both engines has been improved by 9% over the units they replace. The high-output 2.4 litre GD engine delivers class leading fuel efficiency, weighing in at a mere 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres. The 2.8 litre GD engine strikes a formidable balance between power and economy, returning an impressive 8.5 litres per 100 kilometre figure.

Forming the link between the advanced new engines and the driven wheels, are all-new slick 5 – and 6-speed transmissions. Workhorse models are equipped with a rugged 5-speed manual transmission with higher grade models receiving an option of either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.

A standout feature is the addition of a new driver side knee airbag on all double cab models. Double cab Raider models boast a total of 7 airbags comprising driver and passenger front, front side, driver knee and curtain shield airbags.

Price starts from N$228 900 to N$435 900 for Single cab, and from N$333 900 to N$470 900 for Xtra cab. For double cab the price starts from N$377 900 to N$593 900.

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