For Filipinos, September traditionally marks the start of the longest Christmas season in the world. If an anonymous tip is to be believed, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) will join other carmakers in bearing early gifts to customers.
A report by Autoindustriya cites an unnamed source in saying that the GR Sport versions of the Hilux pickup and Fortuner midsize SUV are already making their way to our market. The two truck-based variants recently launched in Thailand are among the latest to join an ever-expanding Toyota lineup wearing the Gazoo Racing (GR) branding.
The GR Sport designation brings several cosmetic embellishments to an otherwise stock example right off the factory floor. In the case of the Hilux GR Sport, it will be using the current Conquest flagship trim as its platform, which means that only the Hi-Floor version could be arriving here.
It's likely that only the Hi-Floor version could make it here
A revised fascia sees the standard grille replaced by a blacked-out edition, accompanied by the Toyota text and GR Sport badge. New bumpers bookend the truck, with special body graphics, body-color wheel arches, and 18-inch GR Sport alloy wheels in between.
Suede and leather GR Sport upholstery will likely be standard equipment, just one of the things to expect in the custom black-and-red interior. Other motorsport-inspired elements include a GR Sport-inspired instrument panel, steering wheel with 12 o’clock marker, and aluminum sport pedals.
Even the engine start button sports the GR emblem
Meanwhile, the incoming Fortuner GR Sport could be featuring less overt styling changes than the new Thai version. This is because TMP sources its Fortuner units from Indonesia, which markets a relatively muted version of the trim level.
Whereas the Thai-spec Fortuner GR Sport is aesthetically similar to the LTD trim level here, the Indonesian GR Sport features the lower variants’ fascia, transferring the GR badge to the rear. There’s a noticeable lack of GR Sport branding on the interior as well, making the Fortuner GR Sport a little more understated compared to its pickup counterpart.
Unlike the Thai-spec Fortuner GR Sport pictured here, the Indonesian version is more understated
Both models will likely still be powered by a 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine rated at 201 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque, with a six-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission and all-wheel drivetrain. TMP declined to give details in terms of pricing and other features in the meantime, so we’ll have to wait and see the rest of what the new variants bring to our market.
Catch more industry updates at Philkotse.com.
Know more about Toyota Hilux 2021
The Toyota Hilux is a pickup with a globally known nameplate for being one of the reliable workhorse vehicles. It was 1968 when automotive giant Toyota's pickup truck started building a reputation for being rugged and dependable, and it continues until today with the facelifted model launched in 2020. This popular pickup continues to evolve and slowly move upmarket after gaining luxuries. The most significant revolutionary jump of the Hilux happened in 2004 when the seventh-generation of the model was introduced. It was the first 21st-century iteration of Toyota's pickup. It is also the first generation to ride on Toyota’s new Innovative Multi-purpose Vehicle architecture. It provided improved safety, better ride comfort, modern D-4D diesel engines, more interior space, and a more modern aerodynamic body. The current 8th generation offers a more refined and stylish design than its predecessor, but the tradition of being a tough pickup continues. It gets a much-awaited refresh in 2020 inline. Aside from improved looks, the Philippine iteration also comes with more powerful engine options. The Toyota Hilux is available in 4x4 and 4x2 variants. In the Philippines, the pickup truck is offered with diesel engines. It is available with automatic or manual transmission depending on the variant.
Joseph Paolo Estabillo