Toyota’s got a special TRD-prepped HiLux on show at this week’s Bangkok International Auto Salon in Thailand, hinting at a sporty new flagship for the top-selling pickup range.
But, before you get your supercharged Speedos in a Siberian hitch, you need to know: this is not a direct successor to the powered-up TRD HiLux developed right here in Australia for a limited run back in 2008.
That model, fitted with an Eaton blower, a significant suspension upgrade and a sports styling kit, was a unique beast that delivered a package well beyond that offered by style-focused offerings like Ford’s Ranger Wildtrak and the newly launched Colorado Z71.
This new 'prototype', however, is more like the aforementioned rivals, building on the looks of the only recently revealed 2016 HiLux dual-cab pickup with a mostly style-focused upgrade.
But, there's a little more to this one still.
On the styling front, TRD has added a blacked-out grille up front and a new bumper skid plate, new bolt-on guards, black 18-inch alloy wheels and carbon-fibre mirror caps through the profile, matched to a large sports bar behind the cab and a small tailgate lip at the rear.
TRD has added a couple of other tricks to this package, though, including the addition of a jacked-up suspension package for a little extra ground clearance - particularly noticeable at the back end, endowing the new special with something of a ‘hotrod’ look. A rear stabiliser bar is also featured.
Other enhancements include a sump guard and TRD brake callipers up front (specific details of the model’s braking package have not been released), along with a prototype TRD muffler with a carbon cover.
These photos, published at enthusiast website RevoClub Thailand, do not reveal the special new HiLux model’s interior, although the company promises at least a TRD-branded gear knob and footwell lighting that casts the TRD logo on the floor mats.
The concept’s powertrain has not been detailed, but the regular range will be offered in Australia with diesel and petrol options across a spread of four- and six-cylinder engines.
If this prototype enters production and finds an Australian berth, we can likely expect it to come equipped with either the 130kW/450Nm 2.8 litre four-cylinder diesel or the circa 207kW 4.0 litre petrol six. Perhaps even both, which would give this model an advantage over the diesel-only Ranger Wildtrak and Colorado Z71 models.
Update: Speaking with CarAdvice today, Toyota Australia communications manager Stephen Coughlan said there are no plans to bring the TRD HiLux concept to market.
"The accessorised concept that TRD Asia have showcased does, however, highlight the strong interest for the all-new vehicle globally and displays just how well the new design lends itself to such customisation," Coughlan said.