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Hilux Mako designed to eat small fry for breakfast

A bespoke Hilux to take on rival utes

Mako sharks swim in most oceans. Yet this te reo-named shark is Kiwi as – just like the new Hilux Mako which will be built to order at Toyota’s Thames Vehicle Operations, just a few metres from its namesake’s natural environment.

No matter the job the Hilux Mako has what it takes – and more. You might order one because your work or leisure interests take you to a building site or a forest or even the bush. Or you might want one because you really like the bespoke look.

Make no mistake, the Hilux Mako will be an eye-catching, custom-built ute, with outstanding Toyota Genuine accessories and parts. It will be built to order by Toyota’s careful and diligent Thames plant team. Not your average off-the-shelf ute, that’s for sure.

Toyota New Zealand’s Chief Executive, Neeraj Lala, who drives a Hilux when he’s not driving a Supra, says the Hilux Mako will be the ultimate bespoke ute, for customers who want a fully kitted out Hilux.

“We’ve taken a great truck and added some kiwi-muscle and flair. I’ve had lots of direct feedback from customers, and they wanted more power, a better ride and premium interior comfort – the Hilux MAKO delivers on all those requests,” says Neeraj.

“The big advantage with the Hilux MAKO is that you get all of those benefits and you can tow 3,500kg. If I had to jump out of my GR Supra, this truck needed to be perfect, and I’m excited about jumping into a black one.”   

“From my experience in the US with the Scion brand, customisation was the backbone of forming an unbreakable bond with customers. In fact, customers would go to extreme lengths, some legal and some even illegal as they really pushed the boundaries of customisation,” says Neeraj.  

“We have pushed the boundaries under the careful watch of local Toyota engineers to produce a unique bespoke truck that I think customers are just going to love.”

Toyota will build a few Hilux Makos for demonstration purposes, but every vehicle will be custom-built for the owner.

Customers are able to place their orders now for the vehicles to be built and delivered in the first quarter of next year.

Available in all exterior colour options except Emotional Red, Deep Sea Blue and Inferno for the SR5 Cruiser, the Hilux Mako will have 18” matte black alloy wheels with Maxxis Razr off-road tyres, fender flares, tinted front windows, a replacement front bumper steel bulbar, and a replacement rear heavy duty bumper.

To improve comfort and control – both on and off road – the suspension will be upgraded with ARB’s Old Man Emu BP-51 shock absorbers. The BP-51 high-performance by-pass shock absorbers have user adjustable compression and rebound damping control. They provide optimal performance for challenging terrain, towing or carrying loads.

Also, to improve control, the brakes will be upgraded with larger diameter front discs. The brake lines also get an upgrade to stainless steel braided lines that help increase hydraulic pressure on the pedal and the feel and feedback, improves safety, and are more durable in harsh conditions than standard rubber lines.

Inside, the Mako will receive airbag-compatible custom sports leather accented front and rear seats with unique seat stitching and headrest branding.

Underpinning the accessories will be the latest 2021 SR5 Cruiser with its more powerful 2.8L turbo diesel engine, the latest in Hilux safety features and smart phone connectivity.

The Hilux Mako price will be $79,990 driveaway with an optional $1,500 towbar/rear tow hook kit.

The Toyota Drive-away pricing includes all on road costs; WOF, registration, 1000kms of RUC, a full tank of fuel, the Toyota Care Service Advantage fixed price servicing package, floor mats, and three years or 100,000 kms warranty.