Hardcore Toyota Hilux Reportedly in the Works

By -

Toyota Hilux

One of the toughest trucks on the planet might soon get tougher with a Ranger Raptor fighter.

The Toyota Hilux has long enjoyed a reputation as being one of the toughest off-road trucks on the planet. Toyota themselves like to refer to the Hilux as being “unkillable,” a claim that Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson famously put to the test. Needless to say, the Brit came away impressed, if not a little frustrated. And yet, Toyota apparently feels the need for an even tougher Hilux variant.

The news comes to us via Toyota Australia sales and marketing boss Sean Hanley. Hanley confirmed that the automaker is considering a hi-po Hilux at the Tokyo Motor Show. “Clearly there’s a gap for us. We don’t have the ‘level four’ (above TRD)”, he told CarAdvice.

“We’ve been able to fill that gap somewhat with our TRD vehicle, and we certainly understand that in the future, we’ll have to examine very closely what we do to fill that gap to ensure that our number-one selling car continues to hold that momentum in the future.”

Toyota Hilux

Of course, the current TRD offering is only available with a 2.8-liter diesel. Not exactly a barn burner. So what has suddenly motivated Toyota to offer a hot Hilux? Blame it on the reemergence of the Ford Ranger and the mid-size pickup in general. Ford decided to abandon the segment years ago, at least in America. And now they’re not only bringing the nameplate back to the states, they’re going to build a Ranger Raptor for Australia, a move aimed squarely at the Hilux’s dominance down under.

Toyota Hilux

As tough as the base Hilux already is, we can hardly wait to see what Toyota cooks up here. We’d like to imagine that it’ll resemble the hardcore Tonka concept unveiled earlier this year. Hanley stopped short of discussing powertrain options for the upgraded Hilux. But he did strongly hint that it could carry the Gazoo Racing name in lieu of a TRD badge.

Regardless of what sort of badge this hot Toyota Hilux sports, it’s unlikely we’ll be disappointed. The truck that can’t be killed has earned its reputation, after all.


Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

Comments ()