The latest Toyota Hilux has been around long enough now for some seriously impressive aftermarket creations to make their appearance. Here is LA Sport’s latest version of the popular bakkie.
Whenever a new Hilux makes its appearance, you can be sure that there will be plenty of opinions flying around. Some will love it, some… will need convincing. Almost immediately, people will start talking about what can be done to improve its appearance and abilities. But it’s worth considering the amount of time that manufacturers spend tweaking their vehicles before selling them. So, if you want to fiddle with a popular vehicle, it needs to be done properly. It’s not just about making the vehicle look better. The last thing you want to do is give a decent 4×4 a makeover that actually reduces its off-road ability.
That, thankfully, is not what LA Sport has done. Lionel Lewis and his team have created a truly striking Hilux that is far more off-road oriented than the standard version. Let’s start with the obvious bits. At the front, the Hilux has received an LAS replacement bull bar that undoubtedly gives the front end a beefier and less controversial look. Fitted to the bull bar is a 9 500lbs winch, as well as a pair of LED spotlights and a light bar. The Hilux has also received a set of Lumeno LED headlight bulbs.
To protect the underside of the Toyota when things get really hairy, the vehicle boasts a set of slick rock sliders, as well as an LAS belly plate. There’s also a snorkel, and a pretty yet practical alloy Bushtech canopy. Inside the cabin, there’s a set of hardy LAS seat covers and the wheel arches have been fitted with some attractive but subtle black flares. At the back, you’ll find an LAS rear bumper that’s been fitted with a spare wheel and a carrier that can house a jack, water tanks and sand tracks.
Now for the stuff that’ll make this Hilux incredibly competent off-road. Quite obviously, the standard tyres and rims have been replaced. The Toyota bakkie now sports 17-inch XD Series rims that have been shod with chunky 315/75 R17 Cooper STT Pro mud-terrain tyres. These don’t only look great, but they’ll perform well on rocky trails. Less obvious than the tyres, is the Hilux’s all-new suspension set-up. Both the bakkie’s upper and lower control arms have been replaced with LAS ones, and the standard suspension has been swapped for an LAS Profender full suspension kit.
This includes a set of eight-stage adjustable shocks at the rear (which means you can get the perfect set-up, regardless of the load you’re carrying) and high-performance adjustable front shocks. All of this has resulted in a vehicle that looks the part and is sure to be supremely capable off-road, too. We wouldn’t mind getting behind the wheel of it in the near future.
Toyota hilux specifications
Engine 2 755cc, in-line four, turbodiesel
Power 130kW @ 3 400r/min
Torque 450Nm @ 1 600r/min
Transmission Automatic six-speed
4WD System Part-time 4×4 system with low-range gearing
Traction aids Traction control, rear diff lock
List of accessories
1. LAS replacement bull bar
2. LAS plasma winch
3. LAS snorkel
4. Vision LED spotlights
5. Vision light bar
6. Lumeno LED headlight bulbs
7. LAS Profender full suspension kit
8. LAS lower control arms
9. LAS upper control arms
10. LAS custom rock sliders
11. LAS rear bumper
12. Spare wheel carrier
13. Carrier for water tank, jack and sand tracks
14. Bushtech alloy canopy
15. XD Series 17-inch rims
16. Cooper STT Pro 315/75 R17 mud-terrain tyres
17. OE style wheel-arch flares
18. LAS seat covers
19. LAS belly plate
Photos: Deon van der Walt