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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The 2021 Toyota Hilux AT35 is Made for the Extremes

Toyota Motor Philippines should take inspiration from other markets when it comes to its Hilux pickup truck. Last year, Toyota New Zealand built the Hilux Mako—a challenger to the Ranger Raptor, and now Toyota U.K. has teamed up with Artic Trucks with this—the Hilux AT35.

Starting with a 2.8-liter Hilux Invincible (similar to the local Hilux Conquest), Artic Trucks boosts its ground clearance by a whopping 65 mm. This was done through a combination of 35-inch BF Goodrich KO2 all-terrain tires (LT315/70R17), and a special Bilstein performance suspension system with tweaked springs, dampers, roll bars, and shackles. The approach and departure angles have been increased by 9 and 3 degrees respectively.

Benefits, according to Toyota are an elevated driving position, superior mobility thanks to the wider tracks and tires, and a larger, “lighter” footprint for more secure driving over soft and delicate terrain. The larger tires also provide an increased suspension effect giving a smoother faster ride over rough surfaces, and also operate at a greater range of air pressure.

The 201-horsepower, 500 Nm of torque 2.8-liter 1GD-FTV has been left alone by Artic Trucks, but torque and drivability have been optimized thanks to re-geared front and rear differentials. The sole gearbox on offer is a 6-speed automatic.

As with other Artic Truck designs, the Hilux AT35 has extended flares which boosts overall width by 90 mm (front and rear tracks are up 110 mm), extended side steps, and of course, added badging.

Here’s where things get even better.

Despite the heavy conversion, the Toyota Hilux AT35 maintains its original factory warranty, which in the U.K., equates to a 5-year / 160,000-kilometer warranty. It’s also fully road legal and retains its status as a commercial vehicle with no compromises to its payload or towing capacity. In fact, payload capacity is up 43 kilograms (1,053 kilograms in total) despite its 72-kilogram increase in curb weight (2,272 kilograms total).

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