A Toyota Hilux 2.4GD-6 4×4 SRX recently landed up in our garage. We thought it a practical vehicle, nice and economical to drive, too. But not so exciting. We suggested to Toyota that we should make the 2.4GD-6 a bit more exciting.
They agreed. So we spoke to a man from an exhaust company. He fitted a 76mm exhaust pipe, with no silencer. A company that supplies the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Dakar team with FIA- specification racing gear gave us racing seats and a steering wheel. We got some racing-style wheels and mud terrain tyres. We also got some rock sliders and a new engine protection plate. We fitted an external bypass suspension system. That’s like a rally suspension. Finally, we added some GT stripes and detail styling updates. We called this fun, exciting SRX the SRS. It was all in the name of fun, and seeing how far we coul push the 2.4GD-6 envelope.
We then did, well, what we do: we took some photos, got a national cross-country champion to drive it, and wrote about it. And posted some photos of it on Instagram (because apparently that’s the right thing to do). We gave the SRS to other people to drive. They all seemed to like it. A lot. Some people started asking about where they could get this wheel and that tyre. One bystander asked if he could bring his Hilux to our office for the same treatment. We’ve been building custom 4×4s for many years now, but it’s always just been about creating interesting content, and having some fun while we were at it. Like a boys-and-their-toys kind of scenario. Now picture a man with a light bulb above his head, light bulb blinking on, with the realisation: people may like a limited-edition SRS-style package fitted on their own Hilux. We phoned a few suppliers. We sent some emails. We had some beer. We talked a bit.
And we came up with Leisure Wheels Customs, a new division of the magazine, created in collaboration with our accessory partners. We will kick it off with a new, limited-edition package deal for Toyota Hilux Revo owners (Ford Ranger and Isuzu KB packages will follow soon). Clients get R10 000 off a standardised accessory upgrade for your bakkie. That’s right. R10k. Turn to page 103 for specific details. Welcome to Leisure Wheels Customs. The Hilux is only the beginning. We are also working on limited-edition upgrades on other vehicles, which will eventually include crossovers. And a few more surprises. We even got a new logo…
Text: Danie Botha