It’s fair to say Toyota has a bit going on. After confirming it has commenced a development project for its full sized pickup, the Tundra, in partnership with Walkinshaw Automotive, comes news the Rugged X is on the way out, to be replaced by a GR Sport HiLux.
In the case of the Tundra, its right-hand drive conversion will be completed locally, with prototype testing on public roads to begin in September 2022. Starting from Q4 next year, Toyota will deploy approximately 300 of its cars all around Australia.
This forms the final stage of the RHD re-engineering program ahead of a 2024 launch. These vehicles will not be for sale but will involve monitoring under real world usage conditions.
The program will include the adoption of key components from Toyota’s comprehensive global parts catalogue, including the steering column and rack, accelerator, brake pedals and shift lever from the LandCruiser 300 platform.
The vehicles will be equipped with a new inline hybrid system featuring a twin-turbo 3.5-litre petrol V6 – the most advanced and fuel-efficient powertrain available on this model. While this is exciting news, and great progress to date, nothing is assured.
An Australian RHD Tundra faces further checkpoints in Toyota’s global approval process before its retail introduction can be confirmed.
On the HiLux front, a new hardcore halo GR Sport variant, with a heavy off road focus, will debut in the second half of 2023. It will replace the Rugged X, with Toyota Australia advising further details will be available closer to its local launch next year.