EIGHTH GEN HILUX UNVEILED: The new Toyota Hilux has broadened its appeal to compete in the fierce bakkie segment in South Africa. Image: Toyota
BANGKOK, Thailand - The eighth-generation Toyota Hilux was officially unveiled in Thailand today (May 21 2015), marking the start of sales of the all-new model there.
It will reach South Africa during the first quarter of 2016 and a full local range and specs will be made available closer to the launch.
The new Hilux exudes a tough yet refined appearance with contrasting front panel with its sturdy bumper section and the integrated look of the slender upper grille and for the first time, LED headlamps.
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Toyota says this eightht generation will appeal to buyers as an alternative to an SUV or even a car.
IMAGE GALLERY: This is the REAL next Hilux
The Hilux has been criticised for possessing a rather demure interior and the new model features a stylish instrument panel featuring a unified design aesthetic and free use of metallic decoration.
The company says luxurious features, among them audio system with electrostatic multi-touch control panel, electronic 4WD (all-wheel drive) changeover switch and luxury seats.
NEW ENGINES AND SUSPENSION
All-new rigid frame with enlarged side sections and cross members that are larger and thicker have been created and a mix of off-road performance and comfort sees an upgraded leaf-spring suspension and shock absorbers.
The new 2.4 and 2.8-litre diesel engines create torque lower down the rev range and aid extended cruising distance. They are also quieter and mated to new six-speed automatic transmissions with more steps and optimised gear ratios to maximise engine performance.
Toyota says the Hilux is the first bakkie to feature "intelligent manual transmission" (or i-MT) which supports smooth shifting with rev-matching technology.