UPDATE: The new HiLux has now been officially revealed. Details here.
The new Toyota HiLux is days away from being officially unveiled as factories prepare to ramp up production ahead of the mid-life model changeover.
In the meantime, Toyota Europe has released a teaser video of the updated HiLux being put through its paces in the hands of two time Formula One world champion, LeMans winner, and Dakar Rally driver Fernando Alonso, and his co-driver Marc Coma.
And Toyota has confirmed there will be suspension changes and a power increase for the 2.8-litre turbo diesel (130kW/450Nm), although it is yet to release exact numbers or outline if Australian examples will get these updates.
A statement issued by Toyota Europe overnight said: "The latest iteration of the world’s favourite pick-up will feature a new and powerful 2.8-litre powertrain and new suspension geometry to continue to uphold the nameplate’s reputation of legendary quality, durability and reliability."
It is unclear what changes have been made to the updated engine to address ongoing problems with clogged diesel particulate filters.
Despite the camouflage, the footage shows the new Toyota HiLux has a more aggressive grille design, revised front bumper, and new headlights.
Although the headlights are masked, it appears the daytime running light signature has moved to the middle of the lamp assembly rather than the "eyebrows" on current SR5-based models.
It would also appear the images that were leaked from the Middle East earlier this year (pictured at the bottom of this story) could be close to what the showroom version will look like.
The main body, cabin, and ute tub are expected to carry over from today’s model, though the tail-light design may change slightly.
The cabin is also expected to gain creature comforts such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, to bring the new HiLux into line with other models in the Toyota range.
As CarAdvice has reported earlier, the 2.8-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder is expected to get a modest power bump from its current peak output of 130kW and 450Nm.
The mid-life facelift for this generation Toyota HiLux – released in 2015 – was originally due in local showrooms in late July, then given an indefinite arrival date due to the factory shutdowns during the coronavirus crisis.
However, as reported yesterday, the new Toyota HiLux is now due in local showrooms at the end of August, pending any further delays.
In the video, Alonso says: “I knew the HiLux for a very long time, it’s an icon. The new engine, the (updated) 2.8-litre, behaves amazingly well, very powerful. Even if you push the car to the limit, the comfort is still there.”
Sticking to the corporate script provided by his Dakar Rally and LeMans sponsors, after driving the new Toyota HiLux on a closed rally stage, Alonso says: “I think the new Hilux can be invincible”.