The pickup-truck industry in India is still at an infant stage where the only considerable option available in the market is the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross. In international markets, the Toyota Hilux pickup truck is considered to be one of the most popular vehicles in its segment and now, it has been spied in India. There have been rumours surrounding the Hilux that the Japanese carmaker is considering its India launch and the latest spy shots confirm the same.
For the uninitiated, it is built on the same IMV platform which underpins the likes of Toyota Fortuner and Innova. Not only this, but the Hilux pickup truck also shares engines, gearboxes, four-wheel-drive systems and suspension components. It was spotted by our reader Kaydee at NH2 Durgapur Expressway, West Bengal.
If Toyota is really considering its India launch, the above-mentioned fact will help in cutting the costs. Since the Fortuner and Innova are already on sale in India, keeping the costs in check shouldn’t be difficult for Toyota. The spy shots reveal not only one, but a truckload of Hiluxes.
The Hilux is widely acclaimed for its robustness and reliability which will prove to be one of its key strengths. The Hilux was recently updated along with the new Fortuner. The new design on the exterior genuinely reflects a sense of toughness in virtually all dimensions with a wide array of state-of-the-art elements, together with newly designed Bi-Beam LED Headlights with Daytime Running Light as well as the stunning Light Guiding Tail Lights.
It will be positioned as a lifestyle vehicle and will not be used for commercial purposes alone. Toyota is going to target it at customers who want the practicality and luggage hauling capabilities of a pickup truck and the comfort of an SUV. In its latest iteration, the interior design has been significantly enhanced with freshly designed touchscreen and gauge to provide greater convenience and cutting-edge look and feel to the car. The 2021 Hilux facelift gets an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with enhanced voice recognition and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. The higher variants also get satellite navigation and digital radio. There is a new 4.2-inch multi-information display in the instrument console that incorporates a digital speed readout.
In terms of powertrain, Toyota has also added a 2.8-litre diesel engine to complement the 2.4-litre unit already offered. It produces 204hp and 500Nm of torque, taking the Hilux from 0-100kph in ten seconds flat – a full 3.2 seconds faster than the 2.4-litre version. The maximum torque is now accessible at a much lower 1600 rpm. The power output of the 2.4-litre diesel variant retains its current output of 150 PS and 400 Nm of torque though. Apart from the output updates, Toyota also claims that it reduced the Hilux’s idling 850 rpm to 680 rpm to increase traction and better fuel efficiency.
The Hilux’s suspension and steering have been tweaked, primarily to improve on-road comfort. Toyota engineers have also upgraded the suspension mechanism by revising shock-absorber tuning, using new bushings and improved leaf-spring design. This also offers a comfortable ride over rough roads and with low loads without compromising on the off-road capabilities. However, there are also tweaks to boost its off-road prowess, including a lower engine idle speed, revised stability control and a new tyre angle monitor. The throttle pedal response has also been improved. The towing capacity for automatic 4×4 Hilux variants has been upgraded to a maximum of 3,500kg. The 4×2 diesel automatics offer a towing capacity of 2,800kg, which is an increase of up to 300kg.
It would be interesting to see whether Toyota brings in the facelifted version of the Hilux or we will have to make do with the older version. If Toyota actually brings it to our shores, the pricing will also play a very significant role.