Toyota South Africa delivered its 1,000,000th Hilux in July – and a worthy celebration was in order.
The guys from Toyota celebrated this impressive milestone by creating a one-off Hilux concept, which looks striking similar to a Dakar-spec variant. Well, believe it or not, the Hilux didn’t conquer Africa on the streets, but in motorsport as well.
The toughest pick-up in the world (as the former Top Gear presenters might describe it) has won the past seven titles in the South African cross-country series, and has competed in the Dakar race since 2012, averaging good results.
So, in order to blend together the two awesome accomplishments of the truck, Toyota SA decided to bring the racing variant closer to the road and the road version closer to racing, thus creating a street-legal Dakar-spec Hilux.
Starting as a production D4-D vehicle, the Hilux received a heart transplant, getting a 5.0-litre V8 from a generous Lexus IS-F. As that wasn’t enough, the powerplant was modified with a Dakar-spec inlet manifold, wiring harness, a Pectel Cosworth engine management and a tubular exhaust system in order to squeeze 449 horses from it. Furthermore, unlike “normal”, Dakar-approved racers, the vehicle doesn’t have an air restrictor and that translates into a higher top speed – 150 km/h on the dirt must be terrifying enough.
Here’s the cool part, the Hilux retains the original gearbox and the rear diff that came with the diesel engine, although both differentials were modified with lower ratios because the truck is now quite rev-happy. Oh, and it has Dakar-specification brakes, with 350mm Power Brakes discs.
Is this the ultimate Hilux, or what?
Photos Toyota via Paultan