TOY­OTA HILUX DAKAR EDI­TION

Toy­ota’s recipe to cap­ture the imag­i­na­tion of their Hilux fans is ex­em­pli­fied by spe­cial edi­tion mod­els that keep the model range in­ter­est­ing, and the buy­ers buy­ing. The Dakar Spe­cial Edi­tion is a case in point, and BERNIE HELLBERG re­cently came face to f

Driven - - CONTENTS -

An or­di­nary, but spe­cial, Hilux

The Toy­ota Hilux is a leg­end in its own time. Its cult sta­tus gained from its near-un­matched in­her­ent strength, dura­bil­ity, and ca­pa­bil­ity.

Nowhere have these char­ac­ter­is­tics been put to bet­ter test than in the world’s most epic off-road event, the Dakar Rally. It is the ul­ti­mate test– and that state­ment is not made lightly – of man’s abil­ity to cre­ate ma­chines that are ca­pa­ble of lit­er­ally con­quer­ing the most in­hos­pitable ter­rain in the world.

The SA-built Toy­ota Hilux rally bakkies stand proud as an ex­am­ple of that abil­ity, and show­case Toy­ota’s bakkie-build­ing prow­ess, and what bet­ter way to cel­e­brate the four podi­ums that these ve­hi­cles have gath­ered over time, than with the in­tro­duc­tion of a lim­ited edi­tion model named after the race it­self.

ALL-NEW LOOk

The lim­ited run Hilux Dakar Edi­tion isn’t new to South Africa, but the lat­est ver­sion brings a brand new face to the cur­rent Hilux range, one that not only up­dates the look, but hints rather heav­ily at the next gen­er­a­tion of Toy­ota’s global light com­mer­cial suc­cess story.

Most ev­i­dent on the Dakar Edi­tion is the prom­i­nent trape­zoidal grille and ‘squared­off’ de­sign. The cen­tral fo­cal point is the size­able gloss-black-hon­ey­comb grille, which in­cor­po­rates two hor­i­zon­tal sec­tions that are bor­dered by a metal­lic grey sur­round with a three-di­men­sional look that blends nicely into the LED head­lamps. Match­ing gloss-black ac­cent strips on the bon­net and Dakar sig­nage on the grille com­plete the de­sign.

Below the grille, an­other large hon­ey­comb en­sconced air in­take dom­i­nates the bumper, ex­tend­ing al­most to the side of the ve­hi­cle where it meets ag­gres­sive-look­ing fog lamps in­serts in durable gloss black plas­tic. The fog lamps them­selves utilise LED el­e­ments for su­perb il­lu­mi­na­tion.

There are also a num­ber of Dakar Edi­tiononly touches in­clud­ing gloss-black door han­dles and power-re­tractable side mir­rors. Show­ing that the strong leisure fo­cused at­ti­tude of the Dakar Edi­tion Hilux, the rear bumper is fash­ioned in grey, to tie in with the front de­sign.

And keep­ing things ex­clu­sive, the Dakar lim­ited edi­tion is re­stricted to four ex­te­rior colours – in­clud­ing an all-new In­ferno Or­ange Metal­lic. Buy­ers have a choice between Glacier White, Chromium Sil­ver, Graphite Grey Metal­lic and In­ferno Metal­lic ex­te­rior hues. White, Sil­ver and Or­ange mod­els utilise black Dakar de­cals on the front doors and rear tail­gate, while Graphite Grey units re­ceive con­trast­ing sil­ver de­cals.

IN­SIDE THE CON­QUEROR

In the Hilux model range, the next high­est trim level after the Dakar Edi­tion is avail­able in Raider mod­els. Which means that the Dakar Edi­tion has in­her­ited all the bells and whis­tles avail­able in its sib­ling, with a few sub­tle styling changes thrown in.

The in­te­rior, for ex­am­ple, fea­tures all-black treat­ment, with a black roof head­liner (it

is light grey on the Raider), metal­lic black trim ac­cent pan­els that are, in turn, sil­ver on Raider, and black leather uphol­stery with light grey con­trast stitch­ing – seats are fab­ric only on Raider mod­els.

On the dig­i­tal side, the Dakar Edi­tion re­ceives an in­stru­ment clus­ter and in­fo­tain­ment up­grade over stan­dard Raider mod­els.

The in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem in­cludes sat­nav and keeps Blue­tooth, as well as USB and CD/DVD play­back func­tion­al­ity. Stan­dard touch-screen sys­tem func­tions re­main, al­though an on­board trip com­puter and cus­tomis­able home screen join the Dakar Edi­tion party.

Also new, and unique, is a stylised premium-look in­stru­ment clus­ter with white-faced gauges, or­ange nee­dle point­ers and be­spoke graph­ics that Toy­ota says are meant to look like gear cogs, and when the starter but­ton is pushed, the LCD multi-in­for­ma­tion dis­play also fea­tures a start-up graphic that shows off the Dakar model’s ex­te­rior.

As a re­minder, the Dakar Edi­tion is based on the ex­ist­ing Raider ver­sion, so it is only avail­able with ei­ther the 2.8 GD-6 or 4.0-litre V6 en­gine op­tions. The 2.8-litre, four-cylin­der turbo-diesel en­gine pro­duces 130 kW and 420 Nm in man­ual trans­mis­sion guise, and 450 Nm in au­to­matic mode. The 2.8 GD-6 is avail­able in ei­ther Xtra cab or dou­ble cab con­fig­u­ra­tion, and can be or­dered as rear­wheel, or switch-on-the-fly four-wheeldrive. This brings the to­tal num­ber of diesel ver­sions to four, while the V6 vari­ant (pro­duc­ing 175 kW and 376 Nm) can only be specced as a dou­ble cab with a sixspeed auto ‘box.

Fuel con­sump­tion varies between 7.6- and 8.5-l/100 km and is de­pen­dent on driv­e­train con­fig­u­ra­tion.

With the in­tro­duc­tion of the Mercedes­Benz X-Class and the 2017 de­but of the Volk­swa­gen Amarok V6, com­pe­ti­tion in the premium bakkie seg­ment is get­ting se­ri­ously tough. And while the Hilux Dakar Edi­tion does not strictly fit the premium

bakkie mould, it is cur­rently the pin­na­cle of the Toy­ota pick-up range, and con­sid­er­ing its start­ing price – from R470,300 – it makes a com­pelling ar­gu­ment with up­dated tech and se­ri­ously good looks. And with only 5,000 units sched­uled for pro­duc­tion, it’s bound to be­come some­thing of a col­lec­tor’s item in the fu­ture.

MER­CEDES-BENZ x-CLASSR646,071 - R824,205

COM­pETI­TORSFORD RANGER Fx4R507,790 - R626,300

MIT­SUBISHI TRI­TON ATH­LETER579,995

VOLk­SWA­GEN AMAROkR515,600 - R791,300

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