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The moment is finally here. The eighth-gen 2016 Toyota Hilux has been officially revealed simultaneously in Australia and Thailand. Highlights include two new turbodiesel engines, new six-speed ‘intelligent’ manual and auto gearboxes, a thicker, stronger frame and enhanced comfort, safety and convenience features.

New engines – a 2.8 litre 1GD-FTV and a 2.4 litre 2GD-FTV from the GD family – respectively replace the KD-family 3.0 litre 1KD-FTV and 2.5 litre 2KD-FTV. The new engines have common-rail direct-injection, variable-nozzle turbos, exhaust gas recirculation and a stop/start system, and are Euro 4-compliant for the Thai market. They claim to use 10% less fuel than the KD engines.

Complementing them are two new gearboxes – a six-speed ‘intelligent’ manual and six-speed auto. The ‘intelligent’ manual helps helps eliminate shift shock by matching engine revs to the transmission speed.

2015 reveal of Toyota HiLux (SR5 double cab pre-production model shown).

2015 reveal of Toyota HiLux (SR5 double cab pre-production model shown).

The larger engine does 177 hp at 3,400 rpm and 450 Nm of torque between 1,600 and 2,400 rpm when mated to the new six-speed auto (with the new six-speed manual, 420 Nm between 1,400 and 2,600 rpm). The smaller engine produces 150 hp at 3,400 rpm and 400 Nm of torque between 1,600 and 2,000 rpm with the six-speed auto (with a five-speed manual, 343 Nm between 1,400 and 2,800 rpm).

The familiar 2.7 litre Dual VVT-i petrol is said to benefit from lower weight, better combustion and less friction. It develops 166 hp at 5,200 rpm and 245 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. This engine can be had with a five-speed manual or six-speed auto in Thailand. Additionally, Australia gets a 4.0 litre V6 petrol.

The stronger FIRM (Frame with Integrated Rigidity Mechanism) makes use of high-tensile strength steel and more spot welds, and there’s a new Dynamic Control Suspension system, plus Body Control with Torque Demand. The improved body structure is said to yield lower noise, vibration and harshness levels.

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A Drive Mode Switch allows selection of Eco and Power modes, while shift-on-the-fly allows shuffling between 2WD and 4WD. Also on are Active Traction Control and a diff-lock. Towing capacity has been upped to 3.5 tonnes; payloads up to 1,240 kg.

Three suspension setups will be available for the Hilux – Australia, South Africa, Russia and South America will get an Australian-developed heavy-duty suspension setup that touts improved off-road performance, better vibration suppression and improved roll stiffness. Thailand, meanwhile, will get a comfort-biased setup. There’s also a standard setup that’s “suited to all road conditions the world over.” The suspension is a front-double wishbone, rear-leaf spring affair.

Toyota says there’s more room inside front and rear (35 mm more rear knee room), a bigger seat adjustment range and a larger 80 litre fuel tank, and LED headlamps with DRLs are also available. Wheels are available in 16-, 17- or 18-inch sizes; currently, most of our Hilux run on 15-inch wheels.

In Australia, the Toyota Hilux will be offered with 31 variants – eight more than now – with 4×2 and 4×4, single, extra and double cabin styles, and WorkMate, SR and SR5 trims. There are also Hi-Rider variants – a 2WD with the ride height and heavy-duty suspension of a 4WD model. The truck will hit Oz showrooms in early October.

The double cab is 70 mm longer and 20 mm wider, and with a slightly lower roofline, than the truck it replaces, being 5,335 mm long, 1,855 mm wide and 1,820 mm tall, with a 3,085 mm wheelbase. Cargo volume is said to have been expanded, with the deck packing optimal reinforcements and rib configuration.

The safety arsenal comprises seven airbags, traction control, VSC, ABS, EBD, BA, hill start assist and emergency stop signal – all of which are standard across the range in Australia, in the hope of securing a five-star ANCAP safety rating. We’ll be back with Thai specs and details soon – meanwhile, check out the leaked brochure to see what the top-spec Thai model will get.


Toyota Hilux live photo gallery from Thai launch

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