Toyota launches a Hilux pickup designed to tame the Arctic

Ronan Glon
·2 min read


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Toyota joined forces with Arctic Trucks to create an evolution of the mighty, Tacoma-sized Hilux that's right at home on some of the planet's most challenging terrain. Called AT35, it was designed specifically to let scientists and adventurers reach places where the notion of a beaten path is completely unheard of.

Arctic Trucks started with the double-cab Invincible X model, which is one of the more user-friendly and less utilitarian variants of the Hilux sold on the European market. Its first order of business was to re-engineer the frame. It then installed a beefier suspension system developed jointly with Bilstein and tucked 35-inch all-terrain tires under punched-out wheel arches. The modifications increase the Hilux's ride height by 2.5 inches, and they give it approach and departure angles of 38 and 29 degrees, respectively, increases of nine and three degrees.

Fitting taller, wider tires is a way to increase the Hilux's well-documented off-road prowess. Going big also makes the truck more comfortable while traveling at relatively high speeds over rough terrain; it's not a coincidence that the recently-introduced 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor ships on 35-inch tires, too.

The standard 2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine required no modifications to tackle the tundra. It makes 204 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and it spins the four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Significantly, the 7,716-pound towing capacity is unchanged, and payload increases slightly to 2,321 pounds. Re-geared front and rear differentials help ensure drivers have torque under their right foot when they need it.

While the AT35 sounds like a crazy concept built for SEMA, it just joined the Toyota line-up in England. It's a factory-authorized conversion so the modifications don't void the five-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Pricing hasn't been published, but the Invincible X model it's based on starts at £18,780 (about $25,800) before taxes. Options include skid plates, mud-terrain tires, and an air compressor installed in the engine bay.

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