Toyota Europe is getting the new HiLux GR Sport several months after us, with a ‘II’ suffix and improved in-car technology.
The European-market HiLux GR Sport II appears almost identical to the Australian-market HiLux GR Sport on the surface, but inside it features a different infotainment system.
“Toyota recently launched the HiLux GR Sport with a premium audio system featuring wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Toyota is always aiming to provide the latest technologies for our customers, but we have no announcements to make today,” said a Toyota Australia spokesperson.
The European-market model’s screen still measures 8.0 inches, but it runs Toyota’s latest generation of infotainment (Smart Connect) with cloud-based satellite navigation and wireless Apple CarPlay – though Android Auto still requires a cable to connect.
The new infotainment system also has an embedded voice assistant, and supports over-the-air updates.
Other tweaks are minor aesthetic ones, like the addition of a black spoiler/sports bar at the rear of the cab.
The grass isn’t always greener, however – the GR Sport II may pack upgraded tech, but it does without our GR Sport’s power bump.
Instead, its 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine produces the same 150kW and 500Nm as lesser HiLux models, including the original European-market HiLux GR Sport – a considerably tamer-looking affair than the latest model.
Our GR Sport, in contrast, pumps out 165kW and 550Nm, making it the most powerful diesel HiLux ever.
It’s already in local showrooms, priced from $73,990 before on-road costs – $3230 more than the Rogue.
Its pumped-up turbo-diesel engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that’s been tuned to support the extra power and torque, with drive sent through a part-time four-wheel drive system.
The HiLux GR Sport sits on the same “wide-track” platform as the HiLux Rogue, with a 15mm increase in height and a track width increase of 135mm at the front and 155mm at the rear.
There’s different front coil and rear leaf spring tuning that further differentiates the GR Sport from the rest of the HiLux range. It’s also equipped with KYB monotube shock absorbers with a larger piston diameter.
The rear sway bar has also been removed, which allows for greater axle articulation and ground contact over uneven surfaces.
The HiLux GR Sport comes with unique black 17-inch “Dakar style” alloy wheels that are wrapped in 265/65 R17 Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tyres.
There are disc brakes on all four wheels, with 338mm x 28mm four-piston fixed calipers at the front and 312mm x 18mm single-piston floating calipers at the rear. They’re also painted red.
There’s also a new front bumper that improves the approach angle compared to the core HiLux range, a unique black mesh grille, bolder wheel arch flares to accommodate the increase in track width, heavy-duty powder-coated rock rails, a black rear bumper and red rear recovery points.
Inside the HiLux GR Sport gets a “rally-inspired” leather-wrapped steering wheels with paddle shifters, red centre strip and a GR logo.
Other interior highlights include unique front sports seats that are upholstered in a mix of leather and suede, red seat belts, aluminium pedals, “Technical Mesh” dashboard ornamentation, GR Sport shift lever, all-weather floor mats, and a nine-speaker JBL sound system.