Hot on the heels of the Corolla Cross GR-S, the latest model to receive the GR treatment is the ubiquitous and much loved Toyota Hilux. The 2022 Hilux GR Sport is the second GR iteration of South Africa’s best-selling vehicle, following the debut model introduced in 2019. It features a host of unique design and dynamic features to differentiate it from its stablemates and position the Hilux GR-S as the hero model of the range.
GR Brand Hierarchy
The GR product hierarchy comprises four levels; represented as a pyramid, the first layer is GR Parts (currently under investigation for SA) which allows customers to inject their normal model variant with GR flavour, followed by the GR-Sport moniker which offers cosmetic and dynamic handling enhancements (Corolla Cross, Hilux, Land Cruiser 300). The third tier is occupied by fully-fledged GR performance models (GR86, GR Yaris, GR Supra), while the fourth and final layer is GRMN – which represents the highest level of performance tuning.
The Hilux GR-S wears a unique suit, with the designers penning the design around the concepts of toughness and sportiness. A large and prominent black front grille, horizontal cross bar and Toyota lettering (a GR Sport trademark) announce its presence. Special treatment has been applied to the LED headlights, alongside vertically-stacked air ducts with integrated LED fog lamps.
Keen observers will note that the bumpers are based on the Raider model design (rather than Legend variants) and most notably include wider black overfenders with contrasting inserts. This helps give the GR Sport a more aggressive appearance. Black mirror caps, black door handles, black side steps and rear styling bar with GR branding – create a sporty contrast. Customers can also opt for GR side decals on the doors to further add to the visual drama (optional).
Four exterior colours are offered mimicking the GR brand colours: Arizona Red, Graphite Grey, Attitude Black and Glacier White.
Design changes to the interior include a new instrument cluster with metallic bezels and red needles, bespoke leather-trim steering wheel with red contrast stitching and sporty aluminium pedals (with rubber inserts). GR branding has also been applied to the Push Start button and centre console.
Striking carbon-fibre trim replaces the brushed finish in Legend models, which is complemented by red accent trim signalling the GR-S’ performance credentials. The racing-inspired front seats feature Alcantara inserts, GR badging on the headrests, red accent panels plus power adjustment for the driver’s seat.
Ride & Handling
Under the skin, new monotube shock absorbers are paired with stiffer coil springs to deliver improved high-speed stability and handling response.
The wheel and tyre package features bespoke 17″ alloy wheels in a Titanium finish – while the tyre package has been revised with taller profile 265-65-R17 rubber, to offer enhanced off-road performance.
Engine & Drivetrain
While the GR-Sport (aka GR-S) moniker normally represents cosmetic and handling enhancements, the Hilux variant has a trick up its sleeve in the performance department too. Power output has been increased to 165 kW (+15) and torque ramped up by 50 Nm to a peak of 550 Nm. This has been accomplished via a special ECU calibration which interfaces with revised 6-speed automatic transmission mapping and lock-up control – to ensure optimised power delivery. These improvements result in a 0-100 km/h sprint time reduction of 0.65 seconds. Top speed is quoted as 175 km/h.
Only one drivetrain configuration is offered in the form of a 4×4 transaxle mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with Auto LSD function.
Specification & Features
Standard specification remains comprehensive with the model closely aligned to Legend-grade specification (with the exception of an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and JBL audio). A new feature is the panoramic view monitor.
Safety & Security
The Hilux GR-S is equipped with Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), which offers a full suite of active safety aids including Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) and Pre-Collision System (PCS). These are joined by the obligatory ABS, VSC, EBD, Hill Assist Control (HAC) and Brake Assist systems, as well as passive safety aids such as ISOFIX and a full airbag array.
Model Line-up & Pricing
Hilux GR-S 2.8 GD-6 4×4 6AT – R 865,400
Peace of Mind
All Hilux GR Sport models are sold with a 9-services/90 000 km service plan (intervals set at 10 000 km) and 3-year/100 000km warranty. Service and warranty plan extensions can also be purchased from any Toyota dealer (220 outlets).
All Toyota models come equipped with Toyota Connect, including a complimentary 15 Gb in car Wi-Fi allocation, vehicle telematics and enhanced user features via the MyToyota app.