2022 Toyota HiLux GR Sport revealed for Japan, Australia unconfirmed – UPDATE


The Toyota HiLux dual-cab ute gets the Gazoo Racing performance treatment – but this ‘Sport’ model is more show than go.

UPDATE, 11 October 2021, 12:30pm: Toyota Australia could not confirm the 2022 Toyota HiLux GR Sport for Australian showrooms, with a spokesperson outlining (in a statement, included in full at the bottom of this story) there are “no announcements to make”.

Our original story continues below.

11 October 2021, 9:15am: The 2022 Toyota HiLux GR Sport has been announced for Japan, as a sportier-looking and driving version of Australia’s best-selling vehicle – though an Australian launch is yet to be confirmed.

Following rumours earlier this year, and the debut of a similar HiLux GR Sport in Thailand in August, the new Japanese-market flagship version of Toyota’s popular ute wears the GR Sport moniker, meaning it prioritises visual enhancements and mild chassis tweaks over significant engine and chassis upgrades befitting of a true Ford Ranger Raptor rival.

A full-fat, high-performance GR HiLux – potentially with twin-turbo petrol or diesel V6 power – isn’t expected until the launch of the next-generation HiLux, due in 2025 or 2026.

Headlining the exterior updates to the new 2022 HiLux GR Sport are wider body-coloured wheel-arch flares – increasing the total vehicle width by 45mm, to 1900mm – joining a new front bumper with sportier detailing, gloss black and body-coloured elements, and a new black grille with ‘TOYOTA’ script similar to the new LandCruiser 300 Series GR Sport.

Other exterior upgrades include a black rear bumper, a slew of GR Sport badges, new black 18-inch alloy wheels, and red brake calipers – though only on the front axle, as the standard HiLux’s rear drum brakes are retained for the GR Sport flagship.

Inside, additions include front sports seats with synthetic leather upholstery, GR headrest logos and suede and red upper bolsters, plus a GR-branded steering wheel with a red 12 o’clock stripe, GR-specific instrument dials, and red contrast stitching for the seats, steering wheel and armrests.

There’s also a set of aluminium sports pedals, a GR-branded engine start button, GR key fob, and despite no additional power under the bonnet, a pair of metallic paddle shifters.

Mechanical upgrades are limited to a unique suspension tune “that improves steering response and realises flat and comfortable driving” – meaning a carry-over turbo-diesel engine, six-speed automatic transmission and selectable four-wheel drive.

While Japanese GR Sport variants will be powered by the same 110kW/400Nm 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder as lesser models in their home market – and entry-level HiLux variants in Australia – expect the more potent 150kW/500Nm 2.8-litre engine to be fitted should the GR Sport come to Australia.

Based on the higher-grade ‘Z’ variant in Japan – roughly equivalent to Australia’s SR5, bar equipment differences such as 17-inch wheels (compared to Australia’s 18s) – the GR Sport adds features including a power-adjustable driver’s seat (offered in an SR5+ option pack locally) and leather seat trim.

Interestingly, it also includes the 8.0-inch infotainment screen standard across all HiLux models in Australia

The 2022 Toyota HiLux GR Sport is on sale now in Japan, though an Australian launch is yet to be confirmed.

In a statement today, a Toyota Australia spokesperson said: “Toyota Australia is continually looking at opportunities to expand the Toyota GR range with more exciting models however at this stage, we have no announcements to make.”

Spokespeople for the brand have previously told Drive: “Toyota Australia is aware of the general strong appetite for performance products in Australia and we would be keen to introduce a performance variant of HiLux to Australia, if one were to become available globally.

“At this stage however we have no announcements on whether a HiLux in either GR guise or [a] GR Sport variant will be introduced to Australia, but would not rule it out for the future.”

Using Japanese pricing as a guide – and the 11 per cent difference between HiLux Z and Z GR Sport variants in Japan – expect the GR Sport to cost approximately $67,000 before on-road costs, up over the $60,680 before on-road costs of a dual-cab, tub-backed HiLux SR5 automatic.

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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