Still number one
Whether fated by the stars or pure fluke, the symmetry of the first Hilux Legend 40 rolling off the production line on the same day as Chuck Norris’ birthday is almost poetic; not least of all because, like Chuck, the Hilux is in a league of its own…
The limited edition Hilux Legend 40 builds on the success of the Hilux Legend 35, which appeared halfway through the first decade of the new millennium. The Legend 35 celebrated 35 years of Hilux market dominance and it carried those achievements proudly on a badge on its bull bar, roll bar and rear load bay.
The Legend 40 takes this impressive achievement one step further. Five years on, and forty years since it was first introduced to the local market, the Hilux remains one of the toughest and most popular bakkies in the business. To be more precise, it ended 2009 as the country’s most popular vehicle choice, bar none. Built to the highest standards at Toyota’s Prospecton plant in KwaZulu-Natal, it is a proud ambassador for South African build-quality in other parts of the world as well.
A limited production run will ensure the exclusivity and collectability of the Legend 40, although the range has been expanded since the Legend 35 to include two single cab models and seven double cab models. The Legend 40 range also covers 4×2 and 4×4 versions.
The two single cab models are both fitted with Toyota’s powerful 3.0 D-4D engine, while the seven double cab variants are available in a choice of 2.7 VVT-i four cylinder, 3.0 D-4D turbo diesel and 4.0 V6 petrol engines. Four automatic versions are available in the double cab range and all models – both single and double cabs – not fitted with the rugged Toyota 4×4-system will be “Raised Body Raider” versions.
Visually, the Hilux Legend 40 is easily distinguishable from its lesser siblings by the generous use of stainless steel in the place of steel or chrome. The changes start with the striking stainless steel nudge bar with contrasting black Legend 40 lettering. This flows to the stainless steel side steps and the rear step with tow-bar, also made from the same high-gloss stainless steel. Further changes include the stainless steel roll bar and the proud Legend 40 badge on the rear tailgate.
All versions of the new Legend 40 range will boast the highest specification level as base, including power steering, Optitron instrumentation, electric windows, climate control, fog lights, ABS-brakes, at least two air bags and a powerful sound system. All models, bar the 2.7 VVT-i double cab Legend 40, also offer cruise control.
Hilux at Nampo
Toyota remains fully committed to the Nampo show, which is not only one of the best events at which to meet farmers, but caters to one of the Hilux’s strongest markets and supporters over the years, the agricultural sector.
The Hilux has remained the best selling bakkie in the agricultural market almost since it was first launched 40 years ago. It is therefore only fitting that the Legend 40 should be unveiled at Nampo before being made available to the local market at large.
“We consider Nampo to be a fantastic event at which to chat to farmers and people in the agricultural sector in order to better understand their needs and wishes, which we consider very important in future developments of the Hilux,” elaborates Leo Kok, manager, corporate publications relations at Toyota SA.
“While our display will focus on the Legend 40, it will also include a wide range of agricultural-specific after-market equipment, such as cattle rails,” he continues. “In addition, our stand will feature several other Hilux derivatives including a number of larger Hino trucks, with Hino assistants on call to advise farmers who require something larger than the Hilux.”
Apart from the Hilux, agricultural equipment and Hino trucks, Toyota will also offer visitors 4×4 rides at the nearby 4×4 track and will showcase a wide range of lifestyle gear and equipment for people who would like to use the Hilux for more than just hard work on the farm.