Toyota Australia (TMCA) has no high-performance HiLux derivative to tackle Ford’s Ranger Raptor in the pipeline, though local management acknowledges the “formidable competition” it faces to stay atop the sales charts without one.
The current flagship Toyota HiLux is called Rugged X, which features a bunch of 4x4 bits such as rock rails, a snorkel and bash plate, added in Australia once the cars arrive from the Thai plant. It’s $64,490 plus on-road costs. Review is here.
But it’s no true competitor to the $75,990 Raptor, with its off-road-racing shocks, BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres, rear coils with a Watt’s linkage, and various modes to relax the stability control for tail-happy fun.
Yes, the HiLux is the nation’s top-selling vehicle overall, but top-end Ranger 4x4s now regularly outsell equivalent HiLuxes. Ergo the question about a prospective range-topper, put to TMCA vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley by Australian media this week.
“We don’t have firm plans outside of the line-up we have currently… but we’re certainly watching that market very carefully, it’s moving quickly, it’s ultra competitive, and products are coming seemingly by the month,” he said.
“We’re continually looking at that line up and the things we might be able to do in the future locally to enhance that line-up… it is Australia’s number-one selling car and we don’t want to surrender that any time soon.”
“We’re a fairly big HiLux contributor globally, so we get to have a good say in product development going forward, we get great support from our parent TMC, and we’re acutely aware of the competition out there.”
As we’ve already reported, a hybrid HiLux (maybe with diesel power) is effectively guaranteed to happen in the next generation. Perhaps we might see a Raptor-rivalling one… But don't hold your breath while waiting.