Hello HiLux GR Sport Goodbye HiLux Rugged X

GR Sport HiLux – Toyota has made a brief announcement that the popular HiLux Rugged X will be replaced with a GR Sport version in the second half of 2023. 

GR Sport HiLux exterior Replacing the Rugged X as the flagship off-road vehicle of the HiLux range, Toyota Australia will announce further details on the GR Sport closer to its local launch next year.

The HiLux Rugged X was first introduced in April 2018 with significant Australian design input. There was originally three upmarket versions, the Rugged X, Rugged and Rogue, with the Rugged quickly dropped from the lineup.

2020 Toyota HiLux Rugged X.

Other Rugged X articles

GR Sport HiLux interior

Rugged X Details

Essentially the Rugged X was based on the SR5 in spec ‘ terms but was focused on heavy duty off road driving in its sights.

Additions included:

  • a front aluminium bash plate,
  • a metal mesh grille under the bull bar to protect various critical components.
  • winch compatible Frontline supplied steel bull bar that incorporates a powerful light bar recessed into the middle.
  • Ancillary driving lights are positioned at the sides,
  • a snorkel,
  • 17-inch alloys,
  • super strong side rock rails and robust recovery hooks front and rear,
  • new rear bumper bar incorporates a tow bar,
  • tub is protected by a plastic moulded liner under the functional sports bar with load hooks.

There were minor upgrades over the years along with engine updates, but essential the Rugged X remained true to its original concept throughout.

That’s why its exciting to hear that Toyota will be replacing it with a GR Sport version.

What the exact details of the new model are Toyota is holding close to their chest, but as the GR Sport Land Cruiser is the best riding and handling of the 300 series 4WD Wagons, there are high hopes for the HiLux version.

2017 Toyota HiLux Tonka Concept

I wonder if Toyota will move towards the previously teased Tonka truck concept they wheeled out in 2017.

A full-size dream toy for adults, the HiLux Tonka Concept is an impressive rock-crawling truck that combines the enviable reputations for toughness and durability that dominate the Toyota and Tonka DNAs.  Unfortunately it won’t be available for sale I believe, but there are many features from that concept that could be included in the upcoming GR Sport.

About Rob Fraser 310 Articles
Rob first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, many years ago. He has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then.Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive.