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KIA: Now it's the edgy, wedgy Koup

Kia continues to pleasantly surprise the South African car market with its growing product choice. The addition of the sexily sporty, 225km/h, Koup, says DAVE FALL, has just made things even better.

Beyond evolution - the latest Hilux is all new

2005-06-10 14:41

While it retains the proud Hilux heritage and builds on its reputation for reliable and durable service, this latest Hilux is a clean sheet design to optimise the vehicle in terms of user friendliness, space, comfort, overall size, performance and overall vehicle quality.

The new Hilux is also big on value-for-money and added value with a major plus factor being a 90 000 km/5 year service plan included in the retail price. Another first is the 100 000 km/3 year warranty cover.

Above all this it is an element of Toyota's revolutionary IMV project aimed at global production and component sourcing that brings with it high manufacturing efficiencies and the opportunity to improve affordability through the implementation of a rigid "cost down" policy.

The design philosophy for this new Hilux required the Toyota engineering group working with executive chief engineer Kaoru Hosokawa to go beyond existing customer expectations and set a new global standard in the light commercial vehicle market.


One of the problems facing vehicle designers is size versus manoeuvrability and practicality. The larger size of the new Hilux is optimised to provide class leading passenger and utility space without any compromise in turning radius or its ability to work in tight spaces and on narrow roads. The suspension and steering geometry are similarly optimised.

At the heart of the new Hilux is a tough new ladder type chassis frame that draws on the experience of the previous models with their legendary durability on any terrain and in the most arduous of operating conditions. This new chassis is both bigger and stronger and incorporates crash impact crumple zones to absorb collision energy and limit damage to the cab area.

A bigger body is pivotal to increased interior space and comfort and the larger footprint of the new Hilux has allowed this to be achieved. The interior design is both roomy and user friendly. Luxury features, more akin to passenger vehicle expectations, abound. The cab is designed around the 'safety cell' principle and offers a high level of passenger protection in the event of a crash impact.

A significant feature of the new Hilux is its enhanced ride comfort that makes this vehicle not just a pleasure to drive but also a pleasure to be driven in. An intense focus on suspension development by the engineering team, with global requirements continually under consideration, has resulted in a design that exhibits excellent ride and handling characteristics in both loaded and unloaded states.

A significant change over the previous model is that coil springs are now fitted at the front in place of torsion bars. The rear suspension remains a leaf spring system. A power assisted rack and pinion system provides a sharp and direct steering characteristic.

New engines

With this all new design comes a range of new generation Toyota petrol and diesel engines. These clean burning engines offer improved power and operating efficiency across the board and have been specified with the larger size of the new Hilux in mind. This is the first time in the history of the Hilux in South Africa that there has been no carry over of engines from the previous generation.

Three new petrol engines, four cylinder units in 2.0 and 2.7 litre capacities, and a 4.0 litre V6 are used to power the various Hilux petrol derivatives. All have multi-valve cylinder heads and are equipped with VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing - intelligent) and electronic fuel injection. The VVT-i system optimises the engine intake valve timing according to driving conditions to ensure the best balance between performance and fuel economy with smooth engine performance throughout the rev range.

The 1TR-FE 2.0 litre engine produces 100 kW at 5600 r/min with peak torque of 182 Nm at 4000 r/min. The 2TR-FE 2.7 litre engine produces 118 kW at 5 200 r/min and maximum torque of 241 Nm at 3800 r/min. Both of these engines are 16-valve DOHC engines.

The 1GR-FE 4.0 litre V6 engine has a 24-valve DOHC configuration. This engine is specified with different power and torque characteristics depending on whether it is for use with a manual or automatic transmission. In manual transmission guise maximum power is 175 kW at 5 200 r/min with 343 Nm of torque available from 2 400 r/min through 4 800 r/min. The automatic specification engine produces the same maximum power but has a higher torque rating of 376 Nm at 3 800 r/min.

Two new generation D-4D common rail direct injection diesel engines have been introduced with the new Hilux. Capacities are 2.5 litres and 3.0 litres.

Turbo diesels

The 2KD-FTV unit is a 2.5 litre four cylinder turbo-charged engine with 16-valve DOHC cylinder head. This engine is offered in normal and Hi-spec versions depending on model derivative. In both instances the maximum power is 75 kW at 3 600 r/min. Maximum torque for the normal specification engine is 200 Nm available from 1 400 r/min through to 3 400 r/min. The Hi-spec version of this engine produces 260 Nm of torque between 1 600 r/min and 2 400 r/min.

The 1KD-FTV engine is a 3.0 litre four cylinder turbo-charged and inter-cooled engine, also with a 16-valve DOHC configuration. Maximum power is 120 kW at 3 400 r/min and peak torque of 343 Nm is delivered between 1 400 r/min and 3 200 r/min.

The electronically controlled common rail type fuel injection system used on these engines provides exceptional fuel management with a microcomputer controlling the injection pressure, injection timing and the volume of the fuel charge.

True to its IMV (Innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicle) platform designation the latest Hilux offers not just a high level of technical and quality advancement but also added style, size, and ease of access. Rounded body contours and a wedge shaped waistline provide sophisticated but tough styling for this new pickup from Toyota that takes over as the largest vehicle in its class in terms of overall dimensions, cargo deck area and load box capacity.

Interior dimensions, a key contributor to passenger comfort, are up on the older generation Hilux and the latest benchmark competitors. On the double cab model overall interior cab length is up by 25 mm, width is increased by 65mm and height by 30 mm compared to the model being replaced. The rear seat is 40 mm deeper and also 40 mm higher.

Access, especially to the rear seat is significantly improved with 155 mm added to the door open width. The side step height is 25 mm lower. The lower back edge of the front seats is now cut away to provide expansive rear legroom in double cab models. The rear seat cushion on these models folds up to reveal twin lidded storage areas for compact items.

Feature packed, this all new Hilux has redefined the one ton pickup segment.

  • Hilux is all-new from the ground up
  • Hilux technical details
  • Hilux - a proud history
  • Local suppliers rise to the challenge
  • Hilux - built in SA for global markets
  • Built by people the Toyota way

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    2013-09-03 07:42

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