The bakkie which built South Africa is due to for a facelift. We take a look at the forthcoming, revised Hilux, just launched in Europe. Moving away from the soft, unthreatening design employed by Japanese stylists to hide bakkie bulk, the new Hilux features a trapezoidal grille, grey plate bar and redesigned bumper. Obviously restyling the rear of a bakkie is quite a bit harder than freshening up the front; and around the utility end of the Hilux you’ll see very little differentiation. Extended cab joins range, proliferation of airbags on double-cab versionThe traditional bakkie body styles – single and double-cab – should be joined by an extra cab variant locally; which should prove popular with leisure buyers who travel only with a partner. Inside you’ll notice the new four-spoke steering wheel with intuitive satellite controls and when you clamber aboard the new double-cab, you’ll settle into contoured sports seats up front in the 3.0D-4D model.Behind the cabin structure safety has been significantly upgraded too, with dual front and side airbags augmented by curtain airbags for both front and rear occupants in the double cab versions, which heralds a remarkable improvement on the current range. Suspension upgrades and automatic shifting for 3.0D-4 DMechanically engines are carried over with the major new drivetrain feature being a five-speed automatic 3.0D-4 D version which has 17Nm more torque on tap, peaking at 360Nm. Local diesel quality will probably preclude the 3-litre turbodiesel engine from being derestricted to produce a European spec 124kW.Ride and handling characteristics (never quite a raised body Hilux strength) should benefit greatly from the new double-row, roller-type rear axle bearings and more responsive valve structure on the front shock absorbers. Top of the line double-cab 3.0D-4D models will have vehicle stability control as standard too. The new Hilux is due to be unveiled at the Johannesburg motor show in late October.