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Leaked Images Reveal the 2021 Toyota Hilux Pickup's Tacoma-Inspired Styling

The Tacoma's foreign-market counterpart looks good.

Kelly LinWriter

Although it's not sold in the United States, the Toyota Hilux is known around the world as a tough and reliable truck. That dependable aura rubs off on the similarly sized Tacoma pickup that we get here. It appears as though the two Toyotas may get closer visually in the future, though, as our first images of what appears to be the 2021 Hilux depict a truck with more than a little Tacoma in it.

Car export company Milele Motors released the photos, claiming they are of the overhauled Hilux. If this is indeed the new Hilux, its bold grille is shaped much like the one on the Tacoma. The website says Toyota is offering two headlamps: A full-LED option for higher trims and a halogen and LED combination for lower trims (just like our Taco does). The tail lamps also appear to sport a refresh. The Hilux will be available in many different colors, including shades of orange, blue, bronze, and red.

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These computer-generated photos may simply be renderings of a new Hilux, and if that's the case, the final product could look different. The current Hilux pickup debuted in 2015 and was given a facelift in 2017.  A special edition "Invincible" model marked the 50th anniversary of the Hilux nameplate in 2018. It is due for another mid-cycle facelift soon, although it may even get a full redesign.

What is less clear is how this would-be new Hilux factors into rumors that the next-gen Tacoma and Tundra will sit on a common platform that will spread to all of Toyota's pickups around the globe. This would help Toyota reduce complexity and save money, much as it has done since introducing the unibody Toyota New Global Architecture.

It also would bring the U.S.-market mid-size Tacoma pickup back into line with the Hilux. You see, Toyota used to sell the same basic small truck in North America as it did abroad; however, that changed with the debut of the Tacoma in 1995. A Taco/Hilux realignment may be quite a ways off, though, as the U.S.-market Tacoma just received updated styling, new LED headlights, and an upgraded infotainment system for 2020. While the truck isn't class-leading by any means, it does lead the pack in mid-size pickup sales.

Source: Milele Motors via CarAdvice