And it looks epic.
The Ford Ranger is a pickup that we didn't get access to for a very long time, but it did eventually come, and a Raptor version is on the way too. One truck that we still don't get, however, is the Toyota Hilux, baby brother to the Tacoma. The people in New Zealand do have access to it, though, along with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel Ranger Raptor, and now Toyota NZ has created a Hilux to put the Raptor in its place. It's called the Hilux Mako and is a limited-edition package that will be limited to 250 units. Doesn't it make the Ranger look utterly tame?
Named after the fastest shark in the world, the Mako is unfortunately powered by the same 2.8-liter turbodiesel that makes 201 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, but its styling changes are what really sell this vehicle. There's an LED light bar, contoured fender flares, bash plates, and aggressive new bumpers. Still, there are some functional changes too. The suspension has been raised by 1.57 inches in front and almost two inches at the rear while braided brake lines, adjustable dampers, and special wheels finished in black make the Mako more capable off-road. Inside, the Mako logo has been embossed into the leather seats while the steering wheel has a center marker at 12 o'clock.
There have been rumors that Toyota wants to build a proper Raptor rival for some time now, and although this is an impressive attempt, it's not quite as extreme as it could be. Perhaps Toyota will wait to see if the Ranger does well for Ford in the States and eventually decide to bring the Hilux and a hardcore variant thereof over. In the meantime, all we can do is admire this piece of forbidden fruit. It's a crazy-looking machine, but which would you rather have, given the choice? As cool as the Mako is, we're leaning towards the less extremely styled Ranger Raptor.