Toyota has unveiled the most aggressive, most advanced – and most Australian-hero versions of the nation’s best-selling vehicle, HiLux.
In this latest update, the new HiLux Rogue and HiLux Rugged X have been endowed with substantially higher performance and innovative new features.
These have expanded the sense of adventure for HiLux Rogue and elevated the off-road protection and functionality of HiLux Rugged X.
The two hero HiLux variants are expected to arrive in dealerships during the second half of November with final timing to be determined by the level of restrictions in Melbourne where the vehicles undergo final assembly.
Toyota Australia’s significant role in developing and evaluating the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, rear suspension and hydraulic power steering was supported by teams from Japan and Thailand, as well as representatives from other markets.
The upgraded 1GD turbo-diesel engine now develops 150kW and 500Nm, gains of 15 per cent and 11.1 per cent.
Maximum braked towing capacity has been uprated by 300kg to 3,500kg, supported by the higher-output engine and a recalibrated six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
Drivability has also been improved with revisions to the rear suspension that improve unladen ride comfort while a new variable flow-control power-steering pump offers greater assistance for low-speed manoeuvres such as parking.
Toyota Australia’s local conversions and accessories division also led engineering, development and testing for new components, including an innovative motorised roller cover for HiLux Rogue and the aggressive grille and related components for HiLux Rugged X.
These specialised components – including features such as the rock rails and hoopless bull bar on Rugged X – are fully integrated and engineered into the core vehicles and covered by the standard factory warranty.
Upgraded Engine, Suspension And Steering
The turbo-diesel engine’s increased output was achieved through the adoption of a larger water-cooled ball-bearing turbocharger, supported by additional measures to achieve Toyota’s mandated performance, cooling and durability standards.
As a result, modifications were made to the cylinder block, water jacket shape, head gasket material and shape, exhaust manifold and gasket material as well as cooling fan and coupling design.
The six-speed automatic transmission was recalibrated to allow earlier lock-up for improved acceleration feel and to ensure adherence to Toyota’s strict temperature tolerances, especially when towing.
Leaf springs and shock absorbers were re-tuned to improve unladen ride comfort without compromising the vehicles’ ability to carry loads over uneven terrain.
Low-friction rear shackle bushes add to ride comfort while rear stability and handling benefit from leaf spring front bushes with increased lateral stiffness.
Revised chassis mounts reduce vibrations and noise transfer to the cabin, particularly when driving on rough Australian roads.
A variable flow control power-steering pump improves steering feeling on narrow winding country roads and reduces steering effort when parking. It incorporates a low-range mode for off-road driving.
Toyota’s design studio in Melbourne contributed to ensuring HiLux Rogue was redesigned as a global vehicle to be tailored and sold in markets around the world. The brief was to achieve a combination of additional toughness, complemented by a more recreational focus for a vehicle designed to go anywhere.
Rogue is distinguished with a vertical grille that is dark and bold, flowing from the bonnet down to the prominent lower bumper and under-guard.
To achieve a more unified look, the LED headlamps – now with dark internals – combine with the bold outer corners of the bumper, which links to the strong fog lamp surrounds.
An assertive side profile continues the purposeful theme with aggressive fender flares, unique wheel-arch mouldings and an all-new resin sports bar.
New locally developed motorised roller shutter
Toyota’s local conversions and accessories team was determined to set a new standard for performance with the introduction of an innovative motorised roller cover.
An integrated cargo-protection system, it is equipped with remote power-operated opening and closing linked
to the central-locking system. It is also equipped with an anti-jam function, integrated lighting, anti-theft design and high levels of weatherproofing and dust protection.
After extensive benchmarking and tear-down of similar products, locally developed prototypes were subjected to testing including rough-road durability – ensuring the same durability as the rest of the vehicle.
Testing included Toyota’s rough-road circuit in Japan – the same location that confirms the strength and durability of vehicles like LandCruiser.
Extensive field tests in Australia confirmed weather protection and the ability to keep out dust – a non-negotiable requirement for the large number of customers who use their vehicles on dirt tracks or take them off-road.
Designed in tandem with the motorised roller cover, the new sports bar is made from resin, which is easier to form than steel. This also allows the new bar to have a more intricate and stylish ‘sailplane’ shape.
Additional HiLux Rogue features Rogue also features dark new designs for its 18-inch wheels, rear bumper and tailgate, along with the security of two front and four rear parking sensors. Improvements to the marine-grade carpet tub liner improve its appearance and coverage area.
With the design makeover completed by a chrome Toyota tailgate badge and new decals on the tailgate and sports bar, the style-leading HiLux Rogue is priced from $68,9902.
Hilux Rugged X
A wider, stronger-looking grille for Rugged X features a defined surround and bold 3D mesh that integrates with a new bonnet and dark headlamps that sit above body-colour infill panels to give them an even more distinct appearance.
The steel bumper design was preserved, but details like the driving light bezels have been redesigned to integrate with the new grille theme and lower bash plate that now proudly displays the Toyota brand in black.
Other Rugged X styling enhancements include bolder, more pronounced over-fenders combine with newly designed, chiselled jet-black 17-inch wheels, along with signature decals on the bonnet and rear quarter panel – all of which give the vehicle an even more purposeful look.
In-house design and development The new grille and related components were fully engineered and designed in-house in Australia, including extensive local testing to ensure cooling performance.
Computer-aided design confirmed airflow through to the radiator while the ability to absorb stone impacts and vibrations on rough roads was confirmed by real-world and laboratory testing.
The durability of the Rugged X grille and surrounds was confirmed through millions of cycles of shaking at its ‘resonance frequency’ in the local company’s vibration chamber. The stress testing also included temperatures from minus-30 degrees to 80 degrees.
An important factor in the grille redesign was the need to reposition the Toyota emblem and Toyota Safety Sense millimetre-wave radar positioned behind it, as well as minor adjustments to the hoopless bull bar and other components.
Local testing confirmed that the calibration for this vital safety sensor – which works in tandem with a monocular camera mounted at the top of the windscreen – meets the global standards set by Toyota.
Rugged X is also with other locally designed and engineered features for enhanced protection, functionality and recovery capability for serious off-roading.
These include heavy-duty front springs, snorkel with a reversible head, red-painted front and rear recovery points, heavy-duty rock rails, sports bar with recreational attachment points, moulded tub tray with tailgate protection, and a heavy-duty rear bumper with integrated step.
Impressive lighting performance includes outboard driving lights and a signature, centrally mounted LED light bar.
Fully equipped for off-road adventures straight out the showroom, the Rugged X is priced from $69,990.
Comprehensive Safety Features
HiLux Rogue and HiLux Rugged X are equipped with Toyota Safety Sense, including a pre-collision system with autonomous emergency braking and the ability to detect pedestrians around the clock and cyclists during the day.
It is also equipped with high-speed active cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist.
Electronic systems include anti-skid brakes, vehicle stability and traction control, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, trailer sway control, downhill assist control and an emergency stop signal (hazard lights).
Like every HiLux, the two new halo models are equipped with seven airbags and a reversing camera.