Aussie-designed Toyota HiLux utes on the way

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Toyota is set to release three new ‘halo’ HiLux variants in April with a distinct Aussie influence.

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Aimed at off-road enthusiasts, the three new models are the HiLux Rugged, the Rugged X and the HiLux Rogue.

The new models will sit at the top of the HiLux range (above the SR5) and are the results of an extensive development program carried out by Toyota’s Melbourne-based designers and engineers.

The development program involved computer simulations, prototype manufacture, bench testing and real-world evaluation to confirm strength and durability of the vehicle and individual components.

Leading the new models, the HiLux Rugged X is set to become the new flagship Hilux model in Australia. The Rugged X is heavily inspired by Toyota’s Tonka HiLux concept vehicle, which was also designed and engineered in Australia.

The ute boasts a number of new off-road features including a high-tensile alloy bash plate, winch-compatible steel front bar, LED driving lights, recovery points, snorkel, rock rails and load-carrying sports bar.

Just below the Rugged X will be the Rugged. This model is primarily focused on off-road performance and toughness, and features a premium steel bull bar and aggressive front-end styling.

The third new model, the HiLux Rogue, is billed as the ‘premium and sporty’ model in the new lineup and was styled by the Australian design team. The separate styling of the Rogue has been tailored to suit markets around the world.

Toyota Australia's product planning and development general manager Rod Ferguson says the HiLux project highlighted the Australian team's capability to develop engaging models that address the specific requirements of Australian buyers.

"Our team understands local customer usage and tastes, the extremes of our local environment as well as requirements for off-road use, unsealed roads and the challenges of dust and water crossings," Ferguson says.

"It was natural for our team to focus on HiLux: it's Australia's best-selling vehicle and owners customise their HiLux more than any other model in our range.

"In the spirit of the concept car, we've further enhanced the off-road toughness of the already highly capable HiLux."


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