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Toyota has revealed the starting price for its Dakar Rally-inspired Toyota Hilux GR Sport II with order books now open.

The top of the range Hilux will cost £49,750 inc VAT, putting it in a similar price bracket to a recently launched Ford Ranger Wildtrak X. The price for the GR Sport II is £41,523, excluding VAT.

As part of the package there's entirely new suspension with a wider track to improve handling. Styling changes include new 17-inch black alloys and an aero sports bar.

Power remains unchanged with the current line-up's 2.8-litre engine producing 201bhp and 500Nm of torque. This is the same engine used in the Toyota Hilux Invincible X which is the top-of-the-range pick-up model in the standard range.

The £50k on the road price is also a whopping £10,000 more than the next model down in the range, the Hilux Invincible X. The price puts in on a par with the £49,000 Wildtrak X - which uses the 2-litre bi turbo engine - and slightly behind the £53,000 Wildtrak the V6 engine.

The inside gets a new Toyota Smart Connect+ multimedia system which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity as well as a nine-speaker JBL audio system.

Van Reviewer has already been behind the wheel of the new GR Sport II Hilux and was suitably impressed by the new suspension changes. The wider track does improve handling, especially on road where the Hilux now feels far more engaged than the standard model. The increased ride height also gives it a slight performance boost off-road - although the gains are no where near as noticeable as they are on-road.

Toyota also claims the new setup delivers less noise and vibration, which we can confirm.

The improved suspension also enables the new GR Sport II to claim some small wins on the off-roading capabilites, in terms of the numbers it can tackle. The approach angle has increased from 29 to 30 degrees, while the ride height boost of 20mm has improved ground clearance slightly. The front and rear tracks have also been increased by 140mm and 150mm, respectively.

Read the full review of the Toyota Hilux GR Sport II below:

Toyota will add a new 48V electrical system to its Hilux range to improve fuel economy and performance. The Toyota Hilux Hybrid 48V is the first time electrification has been integrated into the Hilux lineup since its launch in 1968 in Japan.

Since then, the Toyota Hilux has become a workhorse icon and the Hilux Hybrid 48V is the next phase in maintaining its image as the world transitions to more sustainable vehicles. The announcement of the hybrid Hilux comes just weeks after the reveal of a more aggressive Toyota Hilux GR Sport II version.

The Hybrid 48V will only be available in double cab format pairing the standard 2.8-litre diesel engine with a specially designed 48V hybrid system.

A belt system connects the engine to a compact motor generator, which charges the new 48V lithium-ion battery. This lightweight battery, positioned under the rear seats to minimize cabin space impact, weighs just 7.6kg and also powers the vehicle's 12V system via a DC/DC converter.

Similar to Toyota's full hybrid systems, the battery regenerates braking energy during deceleration, maximising efficiency and providing additional braking power. When charged, the battery returns up to 16hp (12 kW) and 65 Nm of torque through the motor. Improving performance and supporting the engine for enhanced acceleration, power, and efficiency.

A new two-arm belt tensioner and stronger belt material contribute to improved drivability and a quieter ride.

Toyota says that the Hilux Hybrid 48V offers a combination of responsive acceleration, improved braking, and enhanced fuel efficiency, all while delivering a smoother ride on any terrain. The hybrid system should provide better throttle response and smoother acceleration, particularly from a standstill, while regenerative braking creates a more natural and effective deceleration feel.

An improved stop-start system allows the engine to remain off for longer periods, contributing to a fuel efficiency improvement of up to 5% compared to the standard diesel powertrain.

The motor generator's power allows for smoother acceleration on rough terrain, while regenerative braking assists with controlled descents. Additionally, the engine's idling speed reduction from 720 rpm to 600 rpm enhances the driver's ability to precisely control the vehicle.

Toyota has yet to comment on the possibility of a hybrid or full battery electric pick-up truck. Rivals Ford have annouced a Ranger PHEV, while Isuzu intends to build a D-Max BEV by 2025. Meanwhile, Maxus remains the only manufacturer currently offering a fully electric pick-up truck, the Maxus T90EV.

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