The Toyota Hilux GR Sport – the hottest thing in the Japanese automaker’s local portfolio – has finally been priced.

Following the closure of the Toyota Propecton plant due to damage caused by the devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal in April, the bakkie is finally back into production following the re-opening of all the plant’s assembly lines last month. It is expected to hit showrooms in the coming months.

A single double cab derivative of the latest edition of South Africa’s favorite vehicle – the Hilux GR-S 2.8 GD-6 4×4 – will cost R865,400. Price-wise, it sits between the Legend 4×4 auto (R824 900) and the Legend 4×4 auto RS (R868 800) at the top of the range.

In addition to the cosmetic and handling improvements normally offered on the GR Sport (GR-S) models, the Toyota Hilux GR-S will also have more power than the bakkie in standard guise. Its 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine will produce 15kW more power and an extra 50Nm of torque compared to the 150kW/500Nm engine that powers the standard Hilux for a total of 165kW and 550Nm.

READ ALSO: Toyota Prospecton plant back in business after flood

According to Toyota, the power increase is made possible by “a special ECU calibration that interacts with the six-speed automatic transmission’s revised mapping and lock-up control.” This results in a 0-100km/h sprint time improved by 0.65 seconds and a claimed top speed of 175km/h.

Although the Hilux GR-S beats its fierce rival the Ford Ranger with the most powerful 155kW / 500Nm 2.0-litre biturbo engine, it still lags behind Mzansi’s most powerful production car, the 190kW Volkswagen Amarok. But it will only be ruling the Ranger for a moment, as both the new Ranger and Amarok, which will be built on the same production line at Ford’s Silverton assembly plant, will be powered by a 184kW 3.0-litre V6.

The ride quality of the Toyota Hilux GR-S is enhanced by new monotube shock absorbers, which are combined with stiffer coil springs to provide improved high-speed stability and handling. Better off-road performance is also provided by custom-made 17-inch alloy wheels with higher profile 265/65 R17 rubber.

Custom GR treatment shows that this Toyota Hilux has good quality.

Exterior enhancements to the Toyota Hilux GR-S include a prominent black front grille with Toyota lettering, while the LED headlights feature distinctive treatment along with vertically positioned air ducts and integrated LED fog lights.

The bumpers are based on the Raider models, not the Legend derivatives, and feature wide black fenders, while the mirror caps, door handles, side steps and styling bar are dressed in black.

The Toyota Hilux GR-S is offered in Arizona Red, Graphite White, Attitude Black and Glacier White, while customers can also opt for GR side decals to further enhance their rides.

Standard features are very much in line with the Legend trim, albeit with the exception of a JBL audio system and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The cabin features a new instrument panel with metallic rims and red spokes, a black leather steering wheel with red contrast stitching, aluminum pedals and racing-style front seats with Alacantra inserts and GR badges on the headrests.

Safety on the Hilux GR Sport comes in the form of Toyota Safety Sense. It’s a full suite of active safety features, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning (LDA) and pre-collision system (PCS), as well as ABS, VSC, EBD, Hill Start Assist (HAC), Brake Assist and airbags.

Toyota Hilux GR Sport models are sold with a service plan of nine services/90,000 km and a warranty of three years/100,000 km.

For more information, visit the manufacturer’s website.

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