Special edition the best of two classics

by Andy Bryenton

Toyota’s venerable Hilux has seen plenty of action through the years — from barnstorming advertising stunts with Barry Crump through to a test to destruction with the lads from the BBC’s Top Gear.

But now there’s a new model that fuses the legendary tough image of the Hilux with another division of the massive auto-manufacturing force from Japan — their respected TRD racing development partners.

The TRD branch has been around since the 1950s, and during that time it’s produced a fearsome array of katana-sharp racing machines and special editions. Think classics like the 2000GT, the Toyota 7 (the world’s first turbocharged race car) and the special edition Celicas, MR2s and Supras which have become motoring legends. This is the crew who have been picked to fettle and tune the image and performance of the 2017 TRD Hilux. 

Starting with a standard SR5 Hilux, the TRD division has added touches of aesthetic brutality such as massive rims and Maxxis off-road tyres to put down 420Nm of torque. Distinctive TRD badging and design cues make the standard Hilux exude menace and presence, while it’s prepped for the rough stuff with matt black nudge bars and a sport back bar ready to rack up the spotlights. Under the hood the TRD team has not opted to swap out the engine for a big Lexus derived six or eight — instead you’ll find a Land Cruiser tried and tested turbo-charged diesel. This 2.8L four-cylinder, 16-valve mill provides ample power, and in this case the Racing Development team is not aiming at Suzuka or the Nurburgring, but at back roads and gravel. 

The run of TRD edition Hilux utes is strictly limited, so for those who wish to grab a piece of what may very well become auto history, time is running out. Demand was high for this model when it debuted at Fieldays in 2016, and now that it’s here the 100 examples on offer are being snapped up. Need more convincing?

Remember that a 1996 Supra touched with TRD magic will still cost you more that $30,000 today.