New Hilux too bland? ARB offers extensive accessory upgrade for SA's favourite bakkie

2020 Toyota Hilux with ARB accessories (ARB)
2020 Toyota Hilux with ARB accessories (ARB)

• Toyota launched its heavily revised Hilux in South Africa earlier this month.

• ARB availed a range of new accessories for the Hilux.

• The Hilux is South Africa's best-selling vehicle.

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Toyota's new Hilux is by far the most important vehicle of 2020, not only by ranking of local popularity but also economic utility. With Toyota finally giving owners what they have wanted since the current Hilux launched in 2015, a bit more power and superior off-road ride comfort, there is no questioning these bakkies continued and future dominance. 

Better engine performance and off-road ability will allow new Hilux owners to venture even further into generally undiscovered territory. The bakkie accessories market is vast, and a great deal of it is driven by Hilux double-cab owners wishing to convert their vehicles into Safari specification. 

ARB is one of the most popular aftermarket bakkie upgrade brands, and they have now confirmed some exciting upgrades for the new Hilux.

Toyota Hilux,8th-gen hilux

2020 Toyota Hilux (Charlen Raymond / Wheels24)

Working around the sensor issue

The most dramatic feature of new Hilux is its reshaped front-end. Both the grille and bumper are completely redesigned, and beyond the more imposing appearance, there are the bits you can't see that make an even bigger difference. 

As double-cabs have evolved more into the role of family touring and commuting vehicles, bakkies are now held to similar safety standards that would be expected of luxury cars and SUVs. That has required engineers to add an array of driver assistance systems, which weren't required a decade ago.

WATCH: Why Ford, Isuzu and the rest should be wary of Toyota's new Hilux

The presence of these sophisticated safety sensors, in the front-end of a double-cab bakkie, is a significant challenge for the design of any aftermarket bumper upgrades. ARB's engineers and industrial designers have applied themselves to solving this issue on new Hilux. With the latest ARB Summit and Commercial bull bars, there is no reduction in any functionality of the Hilux's forward scanning sensors. The same applied to ARB's steel bumper upgrade. That means the Hilux's autonomous cruise control and automated emergency braking systems are unaffected. 

What you gain with these ARB bullbars are mounting points for a winch, addition driving lights and communication aerials. For those Hilux owners who need an even better approach angle, or are at higher risk of damaging a standard plastic bumper due to extreme terrain, these new ARB components are ideal. 

Perhaps the most appealing feature of ARB's new Hilux range of accessories is their potential to lessen vehicle damage. These steel bumpers can scrape rock edges and survive the bottom-out impact of a bakkie's front suspension reaching the limits of its travel.

Do you think the ARB accessories will improve the Hilux's off-road capabilities? Email us.
toyota hilux,

2020 Toyota Hilux with ARB accessories (ARB)

How to make your Hilux carry more

Beyond the new Hilux compatible bull bar and bumper options, ARB also has Old Man Emu suspension kit available for the latest Hilux. Toyota has done a credible job of improving the Hilux's ride off-road ability by reducing friction in the suspension system. Reconfiguring the dampers, bushing, and links have made a remarkable difference in ride quality and traction. 

ARB's Old Man Emu GVM kit aims to increase the bakkie's payload, without ruining its ride quality or individual wheel travel. 

To achieve that there are Nitrocharger BP-51 internal bypass dampers and coils springs. What makes the BP-51 set-up so effective, is having rebound adjustment in addition to being able to set compression. And its bypass valving allows for a variable damping response, with superior fluid flow, instead of traditional damper internals where the internal fluid flow rate is fixed. 

The result is a notable 315kg increase in payload, without any reduction in small-bump terrain sensitivity or overall ride quality. This is ideal for those owners who intend to take their new Hilux double-cab touring deep into Africa, where you need to haul all your gear along.

Toyota Hilux

2020 Toyota Hilux (MotorPress)

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