Where are the Gazoo Racing products for the US market?
If you live in the United States, you've probably never heard of Toyota's Gazoo Racing Division. Like TRD in the US market, Gazoo Racing (or GR) is an in-house tuner that builds Toyota models with a sporty focus. Toyota was rumored to be working on an off-road version of its Hilux pickup truck, which was likely to be developed by GR.
Now, the Hilux GR Sport has been revealed at the São Paulo Motor Show and will act as the first GR model developed, produced, and marketed in South America. This is also the first GR product to focus on off-road use rather than sporty on-road performance.
Although we initially believed a GR Hilux would be a suitable rival for the Ford Ranger Raptor, GR has focused more on making the truck off-road capable rather than fast. The Hilux GR Sport is powered by a 2.8-liter diesel engine that sends 174 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic. Compared to the Ranger Raptor's 210 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, the Hilux is down by a considerable margin.
Most of GR's changes are in the suspension, where the truck now features stiffer front springs and new dampers. Other changes include black 17-inch wheels, LED fog lights, mud flaps, body graphics, extended wheel arches, tubular side steps, and a rear sports bar in the bed.
Inside, GR has given the Hilux plenty of flare with black leather seats with red stitching and GR logos throughout the cabin. Even the gauge cluster has been revised and the ignition button and shifter each have a GR badge on them. Toyota will offer three colors - black, red, and white - and sales will begin early in 2019. Only 420 units will be available in Brazil only, so don't expect to buy one in the US.
Toyota does sell the off-road-focused Tacoma TRD Pro in the US, but there is just something cooler about a diesel-powered off-road truck. We really like GR's current model lineup, though it seems like Toyota is going to stick with TRD in the US to avoid any brand confusion.