In April this year, Thailand welcomed the Toyota Hilux GR Sport, which gets a number of aesthetic enhancements to give the pick-up truck a sportier look. The model has now been launched in Japan as well, although it is a little different from the one sold in Thailand.

Before getting into the differences, let’s first focus on what both versions have in common. The Hilux GR Sport features a new grille with the Toyota script in place of the regular logo, the latter being something we’ve seen on the Land Cruiser GR Sport.

The grille is accompanied by a new frame and overfenders on the vehicle’s sides (with black trim), which are painted in body colour. A redesigned bumper, also in white, is part of the appearance package too, but unlike the Thailand version, the fog lamp surrounds are a lot more subtle in size.

Other additions include a black rear bumper, plenty of GR Sport badges, red-paint front brake calipers (the rear drums are kept intact) and 18-inch six-split spoke two-tone alloy wheels. Items found on the Thailand version but are absent on the Japan-market model are the body decals and black sports bar.

Inside, you’ll find front sports seats trimmed in synthetic leather with GR logos on the headrests as well as suede and red upper bolsters. Elsewhere, there’s a GR-branded steering wheel (with a red 12 o’clock marker), engine start button and instrument cluster, along with red contrast stitching, aluminium sports pedals and a GR-badged key fob.

While the aesthetics are not equal to the Thailand-market model, the Hilux GR Sport in Japan does get a tuned suspension that is said to improve “steering response and realises flat and comfortable driving.” No engine changes, with the 2GD-FTV 2.4 litre turbodiesel continuing to deliver 150 PS (148 hp) and 400 Nm of torque, paired with a six-speed auto and part-time four-wheel drive system.

The Hilux GR Sport is based on the existing Z grade sold in Japan, so it gets things like dual-zone climate control (this is a new update for the Z grade) and keyless entry, with further improvements like a powered driver’ seat, an eight-inch touchscreen head unit and paddle shifters. Pricing for the new model is 4.312 million yen (RM159,484), which is inclusive of consumption tax.