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Toyota is really on it! Hot on the heels of a special edition Etios, and a special edition Corolla, comes another special edition. This time, they have added a special variant to the Hilux range.

The new model is called the Toyota Hilux Dakar Edition, and it commemorates the Japanese automaker’s participation in this year’s Dakar Rally in South America – the 40th running of the gruelling race – as well as humble South-African built bakkies’ successes in the race. As we have previously seen, the Dakar suffix is reserved for the pinnacle of Hilux variants - and therefore the new model presents a unique product offering befitting the revered label.

The biggest change with the Dakar is up front. It sports the face as seen on the Australian specification Hilux Rogue. Toyota says this sportier Tacoma-like front end will be rolled out to the entire Hilux range in due time. Other changes include the grill, side mirrors, door handles and other trimmings benefiting from new black touches, while Dakar decals on the lower section of the doors and rear tailgate adorn the new model. It does however ride on the on the same 18-inch wheels as the Raider Black.

The interior gets an all-black treatment - with a black roof headliner, metallic black trim accent panels and black leather upholstery with light grey contrast stitching - creating a sombre, yet sporty space for occupants. Dakar models receive a unique instrument cluster, using white-faced gauges with orange needle pointers and bespoke graphics; as well as an infotainment system that has been upgraded to now include Satellite Navigation.

The Dakar is available with a choice of two powertrains. Eight Dakar variants will be powered by a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel motor, that produces 130kw and 420nm (when paired with a 6-speed manual), or 450nm (with a 6-speed automatic); and a sole 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine with 175kw and 376nm, that’s paired exclusively with a 6-speed automatic transmission (in double cab spec only). The Dakar is available as either a rear-wheel drive 4x2 (raised body) or a 4x4. Four variants are available with the manual gearbox, which includes a selectable iMT function (intelligent Manual Transmission), which provides rev-matching downshift and hesitation-free upshift functionality.

In terms of safety features, a total of 7 airbags are fitted and ISOFIX child seat mounts are standard. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) Hill Assist Control (HAC) and Trailer Sway Control (TSC) is also fitted while 4x4 derivatives benefit from Active Traction Control (ATRC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC).

The special edition bakkie is also restricted to only four exterior colours – including an all-new Inferno Orange Metallic. Buyers have a choice between Glacier White, Chromium Silver, Graphite Grey Metallic and Inferno Metallic exterior hues. White, Silver and Orange models utilise black Dakar decals on the front doors and rear tailgate, whilst Graphite Grey units receive contrasting silver decals.

The Dakar is available in either an Xtra Cab or Double Cab configuration, with the Xtra Cab priced from R470 300 to R553 800, while the Double Cab starts off at R535 000 for the 4X2, and eventually is topped by a 4X4 V6 automatic at R662 700.

As a commitment to excellent customer service, Toyota has increased the service plan period on 2.8 GD-6 models from 5-year/90 000 kilometres to 9 services/90 000 kilometres, whilst the 4.0 V6 model receives an increase to a 6 services/90 000 kilometre period (previously 5 years). The Warranty period is 3-year/100 000 kilometres and applies across the Hilux range.

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