A TRIBUTE TO TOUGHNESS

UN­DER THE MUS­CU­LAR TRIM, IT’S A REG­U­LAR SR5

Joondalup Times - - DRIVEWAY - Joshua Dowl­ing

THE Toy­ota Hilux TRD tribute edi­tion uses gen­uine parts from Toy­ota Rac­ing De­vel­op­ment (TRD), such as the grille, mud­flaps, the bright red ‘bash plate’ un­der the front bumper, and some in­te­rior trim.

But it’s not like the pre­vi­ous su­per­charged V6 TRD HiLux from 2008, which also had a unique front bumper, beefed up wheels, tyres, brakes and sus­pen­sion.

This TRD HiLux drives ex­actly the same as the SR5, on which it is based.

The TRD HiLux comes from the fac­tory with the blacked out sports bar but the wheels, grille, door pro­tec­tion strips, tail-light moulds and other TRD bits are fit­ted at the deal­er­ship.

How­ever, you can’t make your own by or­der­ing the parts sep­a­rately be­cause Toy­ota is match­ing the kits to spe­cific ve­hi­cle iden­ti­fy­ing num­bers (VINs).

Start­ing at $58,990 drive­away for a white man­ual and top­ping out at $61,540 drive­away for a black auto (metal­lic paint adds $550 and auto adds $2000), the tribute edi­tion is sell­ing as quickly as deal­ers can put them to­gether.

It’s cheaper than the new SR5 was at launch two years ago.

Toy­ota wants to claw back lost ground from the Ford Ranger, so ex­pect ag­gres­sive pric­ing to con­tinue.

The HiLux is top seller when sales of 4WD and 2WD ex­am­ples are com­bined (the stan­dard in­dus­try prac­tice) but the Ford out­sells the Toy­ota in the 4WD ute cat­e­gory.

Hav­ing done more than 6000km in a HiLux SR5 ear­lier this year, it took me about six min­utes to fig­ure out some­thing had changed.

From April pro­duc­tion, Toy­ota has fit­ted slightly re­tuned shock ab­sorbers, mak­ing the SR5 less bouncy when un­laden and al­most as smooth as a Ford Ranger XLT.

All HiLux SR5s get this change, not just the TRD Edi­tion.

This TRD tribute edi­tion is seen as a tease by hard­core HiLux fans, who crave one with even tougher looks and ca­pa­bil­ity.

If our in­tel is cor­rect, we will see a real-deal TRD HiLux within the next 12 months. Mean­while, ex­pect some very mi­nor model-year up­dates to the HiLux range from Oc­to­ber.

The Toy­ota Hilux TRD Tribute Edi­tion.

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