I’m no truck connoisseur, but it has always amazed me that the Toyota Hilux — the international byword for indestructible, ubiquitous utility — isn’t a thing in the biggest market for pickups in the world. Instead, we have the Tacoma and Tundra, made-for-North America trucks.
Anyway, the Hilux’s absence from this market feels especially painful today because of the two snazzy new Gazoo Racing-flavored versions of the truck Toyota has just announced for Thailand. The package is called the Revo GR Sport it comes in “Lo-Floor” and “Hi-Floor” versions. The ad for it makes me feel like I’m on drugs, with its gratuitous snap cuts and screaming.
The one up top certainly does look like a sporty truck, in the same way every sporty truck does. It rides high, there are running boards and black plastic cladding on the lower grille — it’s got the usual stuff.
The one on the bottom, however, gives off T-Rex short-stubby-arm vibes, with a lowered, big body on tiny wheels and skinny tires. The aggressive lower lip treatment and rocker skirts don’t do it any favours in the intimidation department, either
As you’ve probably gathered, the bottom one is the Hilux Revo GR Sport “Lo-Floor.” It comes only in rear-wheel drive. The more off-road ready, four-wheel-drive “Hi-Floor” version is above it. Here’s how Toyota describes the inspiration behind the Lo-Floor Hilux:
The development concept of Hilux Revo GR Sport 2WD or Lo-Floor is inspired by the Super GT (Grand Touring) car racing. Super GT is the number 1 grand touring speed racing in Asia and is well-received across the globe. This model would suit customers looking for a stunning pickup truck design, with a 23-millimetre [0.9 inches] lower suspension height for more vehicle stability, especially during high-speed range, and the enhanced suspension for passenger car-like comfort.
You read that right: Toyota is releasing a glorified appearance package for the Hilux in Thailand inspired by Super GT, a form of motorsports featuring silhouette race cars with absurd aerodynamic features. It doesn’t make sense. It looks silly. Yet, in an era of testosterone-addled, gas giant-sized pickups, I find it adorable.
The Lo-Floor Revo GR Sport will handle with more stability on account of its lower centre of gravity, because that’s something Toyota believes some Hilux customers in Thailand want from their pickups. It doesn’t have the fancy suspension the Hi-Floor one has, because it doesn’t need it. That version is supposedly inspired by Toyota’s World Rally Championship efforts (sure) and has a more complicated suspension with monotube struts to match. Converted to dollars, it also costs about $US12K more than the 2WD one, which is priced at 889,000 THB, or $US27,145 ($37,457).
Rumour has it a true GR Hilux is on the way with a big ol’ diesel, but this isn’t it. I bet that rumour is true, though, because Toyota is doing up a GR Land Cruiser as well. Toyota is GR-ing all of the cars.
This is exactly the type of vehicle that would never, ever fly in this country, and that’s precisely why I love the idea of it. Need there be another reason?