The next Toyota Hilux gets an Australian accent | Jobs Reply

After initially working on special editions and accessories, designers at Toyota Australia based in Melbourne are set to get more input on the next-generation Toyota Hilux ute.

A team of Toyota Australia designers based in Melbourne is expected to play a key role in the styling of the next-generation Toyota HiLux ute due in 2025 or 2026.

Development of the Toyota Hilux – which is set to be crowned Australia’s best-selling car for the seventh consecutive year – is expected to continue to be based in Japan and Thailand (where it is built for Asia-Pacific countries, including Australia). .

However, future styling themes are expected to be drawn from numerous Toyota design studios around the world – including the Japanese car giant’s top secret facility in Melbourne, which was instrumental in the Hilux’s latest facelift in showrooms today.

“We work as part of the region and a regional design resource for Toyota worldwide,” said Nick Hogios, head designer of Toyota’s design studio in Australia. Drive At a media event in Melbourne.

“We’ve made a lot of updates to the Hilux since the major model changes with the Rogue model, the Rugged X and the (2020) facelift. The current model you see today had a lot of input from us.”

There are about 40 designers at the Toyota Australia styling studio, which opened in Port Melbourne in the early 2000s but has since moved to Altoona since the former Camry factory site was redeveloped following the end of local production in 2017.

Nick Hogeos.

Toyota Australia said it contributed to a range of GR Sport variants of the HiLux ute and Fortuner SUV sold overseas.

“There are plenty [GR] Sport Hilux around the world – there are models that have already been released in other countries … for example, Thailand’s GR [Sport] Hilux and Fortuner,” Mr Hogios said Drive.

It’s unclear whether Toyota Australia’s design team will be involved with the new flagship Toyota Hilux GR Sport in local showrooms next year – with sportier styling and a wide-body treatment revealed in spy photos yesterday.

“There are many projects that we are working on for the future – probably two years ahead at this stage,” Mr Hogios said.

Australia is the home base of the Ford Ranger UT and its Everest SUV sibling – the design, engineering and testing of which was led by Ford in Melbourne.

Mr Hogios said while Toyota Australia could contribute to the design of new models – and conduct testing in Australia – most of the engineering work was done overseas.

“Working with the technical center in Thailand, that’s where the engineering is done and we’re a styling resource for them,” Mr Hogios said.

Asked if Toyota Australia had the ability to lead the development of a key global model – as Ford has done – Mr Hogios (who is a former Ford designer) said: Drive: “It’s different. (Ford) has a huge (research and development) center, where we’re more connected to the regional network, so it won’t be done from one location.

“After Covid, it’s really good that we’re used to location-free development. So we can style things here and the engineering can be done in another part of the world, be it Thailand, India, Japan or wherever. Stay.

“Toyota is set up a little differently in a very efficient way, where you can plug in resources from all over the world and we have common standards and a common design philosophy. So you’ll never see (a Ford-like) operation style here.”

The Toyota Australia Design Studio opened in the early 2000s, working on accessories and body kits – as well as unique styling elements for what would become the 2006 Toyota Aurion V6 sedan.

Toyota Australia’s design team has also delivered a number of concept cars, from the 2004 Sportivo Coupe to the 2017 Hilux Tonka.

Alex Misouanis

Alex Misouanis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed to Drive in 2018 before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role in Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age to growing up around performance. Vehicles in car-loving families.

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