Toyota Hilux GR Sport Is Like A Ranger Raptor Moment Only For Toyota

The toughest truck on earth – the Toyota Hilux - received a cool Gazoo Racing rework for Brazil. Introduced at the Sao Paulo Motor Show, the Toyota Hilux Gazoo Racing represents something one may even consider a Ford Ranger Raptor competitor. Yet, aside from being really cool, the Toyota Hilux Gazoo Racing introduces the whole GR brand in Latin America. Introducing it with a popular truck is only expected.
Nope, as I have said numerous times before, we in the U.S. do not have access to the Hilux. Not even to special versions like the Invincible 50 I wrote about only days ago.

Exterior

2018 Toyota Hilux Gazoo Racing
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As expected, Gazoo Racing-developed kit for the Toyota Hilux is inspired by the colors seen on their Dakar racing trucks.

Earlier this year, the Toyota Gazoo Racing competed at the 40the Dakar Rally from Lima, Peru to Cordoba, Argentina. The Hilux trucks that competed there served as an inspiration for the development of the Hilux Gazoo Racing. The exterior touches include fine stripes on the sides colored in Gazoo Racing trademark red and black. The front of the truck makes do with a black grille, a black bonnet, and fog lights framed with red details. It is quite an impressive sight as the latest Hilux is also the biggest yet.

Aside from side decals, one may rest their eyes on 17-inch black wheels, chromed guards on the lower end of the doors, and a few GR plaques. Just so you know that this isn’t just any run of the mill Hilux.

Interestingly enough, the whole rework starts with the high-end Hilux SRX trim. All the pieces are crafted for it.

Interior

2018 Toyota Hilux Gazoo Racing
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Moving to the inside, Gazoo Racing did not experiment too much with additions.

As this is the top of the line Hilux, Gazoo only garnished it with the GR emblems on the seats and on the start/stop button.

Leather upholstered seats also got red stitching for good measure.

Another Hilux Gazoo Racing unique touch is the plaque just after the transmission lever. There, you can see a production number. See, Gazoo Racing plans to build only 420 units of the Hilux adorned with its parts and every one produced will get a dedicated number on this plaque.

Drivetrain and Performance

2018 Toyota Hilux Gazoo Racing
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Every single modern Toyota Hilux in Latin America is powered by a 2.8-liter, turbodiesel engine with 177 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Now, this engine isn’t as powerful as, say, that 2.0-liter diesel from the Ranger Raptor, but I bet, this Hilux could match the Ranger Raptor in its off-road adventures.

See, Gazoo Racing did not only provide cool exterior rework, but it also improved the suspension.

Highlights include stiffer springs and monotube dampers helped improved off-road proves. Coupling this with a six-speed automatic and four-wheel-drive system (low-range transfer case and locking differential included) makes for a rather formidable Hilux in its own right.

Final Thoughts

2018 Toyota Hilux Gazoo Racing
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While small improvements definitely make for a better Hilux overall, I feel that Gazoo Racing should have done more to it. A few more exterior additions, like underbody guards and a soft engine tune-up (to 200 or so horsepower) would go far in my “I need you now” list of cars.

Nevertheless, with the production of only 420 units, clear Dakar Hilux trucks insinuations, and an awesome drivetrain, the Hilux GR feels astute, formidable in its own right, and definitely really capable. Although I’ve compared it with the Ranger Raptor, I still don’t find it to be as cool as that one. Nevertheless, buyers in the U.S. can’t have any of the two. Would you want it at all besides the fantastic Chevy Colorado ZR2?

Further reading

2018 Toyota Hilux
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Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Hilux.

2018 Toyota HiLux Invincible 50 Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Hilux ’Invincible 50’.

2016 Toyota Hilux
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Read our full review on the 2016 Toyota Hilux.

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