Text by Eric Tipan
Photos by Eric Tipan and Chris Van Hoven
A great vehicle, whether by design or performance, will always have that ability to elicit a certain emotion or feeling. A perfect example of that is the Toyota Hilux 4×4 TRD. Its toughness is so infectious, just one look and I felt like running through a brick wall.
Maybe you’ve seen it and your blood pressure shot up without understanding why. I’m no doctor but I have a diagnosis that may explain it. I’ve got five solid reasons that explain why the ‘truck of trucks’ makes you feel that way you do.
NEW AND EFFICIENT POWERTRAIN
Its new 1GD-FTV engine is a 2.8-liter, 16-valve DOHC diesel with variable nozzle turbo and front-mounted intercooler comes with the world’s first Thermo Swing Wall Insulation Technology that improves maximum torque by 25-percent and low-speed torque by 11-percent.
The Toyota-made variable nozzle turbocharger is 30-percent smaller and comes with a newly developed turbine to provide better efficiency and response over a wide range of RPM.
For cleaner emissions, the Hilux uses a selective catalyst reduction system that eliminates up to 99-percent of the NOx (nitrogen oxide) it releases into the environment.
174-HP and 450-Nm of torque go through the six-speed iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) that offers a 10-percent lower first gear ratio and 23-percent higher sixth gear ratio, for a wider spread and better acceleration. This increases fuel-efficiency by 15-percent.
Powertrain enhancements alone already give the Hilux a compelling edge over the competition.
The eighth-generation Hilux comes with a new and stronger ladder chassis and a reinforced deck structure that provides a 20-percent increase in torsional rigidity. The thickness of the frame side rails and cross-members has been increased by 30mm to prevent cross-member deformation while increasing fatigue strength of the suspension and front propeller shaft mountings. There are 45-percent more spot-weld points, which increases the number to 388, resulting in improved steering accuracy and responsiveness.
Towing capacity has also been increased to a maximum of 3.5 tons. All these improvements mean that you’ll be absolutely OK off-roading, even with a full-grown hippo in tow.
OFF-ROAD AND OTHER FEATURES
World-renowned for its performance on challenging terrain and in extreme weather conditions, the Hilux comes with both front and locking new and high-capacity limited slip rear differentials (LSD). Redesigned to be lighter with the reduction of pinion gears and a miniaturized side bearing, Toyota has increased its effectivity and reliability while also making its operation easy with the new drive mode selection switch on the dashboard.
To complement the LSD, Toyota added the Active Traction Control (A-TRC) system that delivers power to the wheels with traction using brake fluid pressure and engine control.
Some may have reservations with a manual transmission unit because of how it tends to ‘roll back’ on an incline, but thankfully Toyota included a Hill-Start Assist Control feature that holds the Hilux for a maximum of two seconds so you don’t scare the wits off the Wigo driver behind you.
The multi-information display indicated 10.1 kilometers per liter consumption on pure city driving. It also comes with tabs that indicate outside temperature, shift range indicators, Eco meter and various other pertinent details.
To enhance the driving experience, it comes with modern features like hands-free Bluetooth mobile device connectivity that can be accessed via the large 6.5-inch touchscreen, DVD+CD/MP3 compatibility, USB and AUX input and six speakers to handle the audio output. It also has GPS navigation capability but what is lacks is a backup monitor and sensors for easier reverse parking.
To trick-out the package even more, Toyota Motor Philippines offers a trim fully kitted with TRD equipment that includes the front grille, front bumper guard, skid plate, over fender, 18-inch alloy wheels, a wheel nut set, side steps, sports bar, sticker and an emblem all bearing the TRD badge. This is the most obvious of all the features and may cause you to impulse-buy on sight.
The TRD kit though is an extra P164,000 from the base price of a 4×4 G M/T, which brings the total to P1.719 million.
Steep price, I know, but together, these five on the Toyota Hilux 4×4 TRD M/T are guaranteed to get your heart racing.