Toyota Hilux – workhorse and thoroughbred

At the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed recently, we managed to get together a real workhorse alongside its racing thoroughbred cousin – a new Toyota Hilux pick-up and the Imperial Toyota Hilux that fought for a class victory in this year’s gruelling Dakar rally.

The standard Hilux belonged to former double British Rally Champion David Llewellin, who recently collected his pick-up from Motorline Toyota Cardiff. For Goodwood, David used his Hilux to transport his rally car to the famous Festival of Speed, however the pick-up is usually put hard to work on his Pembrokeshire farm.

“The Hilux is perfectly suited to life on the farm,” said David. “It’s tough, it’s dependable and it won’t let me down.

“But on the drive up to Goodwood, pulling the trailer, it proved to be comfortable and showed it’s quality interior too. It’s a class act – I love it.”

The Imperial Toyota Hilux netted a class victory and fourth place overall in the 2014 Dakar rally and was a star attraction on the Goodwood rally stage. We caught up with former British Rally Champion and WRC driver Alister McRae after he blasted round the Goodwood stage to see what he thought of the Hilux.

“It was good to be back at Goodwood. I hadn’t been there since 2008 and seeing how the show has grown was impressive,” said Alister.

“The Hilux is an amazing machine. When you consider it’s double the weight of a WRC car, yet how it handles is a testament to the car’s design. The biggest difference between a Hilux and the WRC car is the weight and how it feels under braking, but it doesn’t roll around as much as you think it would.

“The stage at Goodwood is obviously nothing like what the car was designed for – it’s designed for high speed stages across the desert – yet how it felt was very impressive. Let’s put it this way, you couldn’t take a WRC car into the desert!

Now that Alister has had a taste for the Imperial Toyota Hilux, would he like to get behind the wheel of the machine and fight for the win on the Dakar?

“I’ve competed in the Dakar twice before for teams on a minimal budget, but the aim, whether it’s for 2015 or 2016, is to get into a top 10 car. Obviously the Hilux is a top car and certainly a car that’s capable of winning.”

See also:
10 Reasons the Toyota Hilux rules the Earth
Toyota Hilux 6×6 to tackle Antarctica
Toyota Hilux Review
History of the Toyota Hilux

By Iain Reid


  1. David took me out drifting in the Toyota GT86 at Silverstone which was brilliant fun as I am a massive Toyota fan. We also saw him at Goodwood FOS this year. A spin in the Dakar Hilux with David at the wheel would be brilliant! Any chance? lol or any chance of a rally experience with tuition from David? Regards, Karen.

    1. Hello Karen
      Thanks for your post and great to hear your feedback about your drifting experience at Silverstone in the GT86.
      We too would love a spin in the Dakar Hilux with David and what a great experience it would be. We will bear this in mind for future shows. The Dakar Hilux does not reside in the UK so not that easy to arrange but never say never! As for rally tuition with David if we could we would, particularly as you are a Toyota fan. Let us know which model is your favourite.

  2. Hi David, thanks for your reply. It’s hard to say which Toyota is my favourite model as I’ve owned four and they’ve all been great for different reasons: Rav4 Mk2, Rav4 Mk3, MR2 Mk2 T-Bar and Auris T180 2.2 diesel (my current car). I love the GT86 and am tempted to purchase one, maybe in a year or two but I also love 4x4s so the new Rav4 will be in with a chance too (I can’t afford the Land Cruiser V8!).

    Power sliding and rallying are the driving experiences I haven’t had so I would love tuition on these and would be happy to take part in these in any model of your choice. As for the Dakar Hilux, a driving experience at next year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed would be fantastic if it could be arranged.

    In the meantime, if you are able to arrange any driving events, I would love to be considered for a place. Tuition by David Llewellyn would be the icing on the cake! If you would like my full contact details, please let me know and hopefully you will bear me in mind if you are arranging something. Here’s hoping and thank you! Kind regards, Karen.

  3. Hi Karen
    Thanks for your reply and great to hear more about your cars, I can see why you find it hard to choose. The Auris T180 is quite a rare car on the road today. We often do not know what the line-up will be at Goodwood until a couple of months before so it will be a case of watch this space for a while. No rallying with David Llewellyn unfortunately but we do have a drift experience down at Goodwood race circuit. There is the choice of 30 minutes or one hour tuition as well as packages which involve the estate (click to book to see these). This web link will help provide further details. If you go, let us know how you get on. We would love to see some pics on our Facebook page.

    1. You can’t knock a girl for trying lol. Will keep a look out for news on Goodwood next year. Thanks anyway. Regards, Karen.

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