Smokin Hill Golf Resort, based in Ilara Mokin, Ondo State of Nigeria was painted red over the weekend, as auto lovers, auto sports enthusiasts and customers of Toyota brand across Nigeria converged to witness the launch of the new Toyota Starlet and the Hilux, courtesy of Toyota Nigeria limited.
Launched on Friday with fanfare and test-drive, an all-new Toyota Starlet, which, decades ago, used to be a popular basic, small car in the country has been modernized to a bigger, roomier, safer, and better-equipped car compared with its locally known predecessor.
The new Starlet comes in three versions, including 1.4L Entry Grade, 1.4 mid-grade and 1.4 high grades, all powered by a more powerful 1.4-liter, 16 valve DOHC Dual VVT-I (Variable Valve Timing).
The modern and smarter Starlet comes with all the latest automotive technology, especially the keyless entry as well as the start and stop button, both of which come as standard with the high-grade version.
To a Nigerian auto user/enthusiast of the 1980s and 1990s, a mention of Toyota Starlet brings a nostalgic feeling, however, aside from being more modern in terms
of equipment, comfort and space and safety features, there is physically and technologically no basis for comparison with its predecessor.
The new Workhorse Hilux Launch
While test drivers put the Starlet through its pace on the road around the Smokin Hill Golf Resort premises, the launch of the latest Hilux workhorse was purely an off-road affair.
To prove its ability to conquer and withstand the most unforgiving terrains across the country, the Hilux was released to customers and guests alike for test-drive through a rough, slippery, muddy, snaky, hilly, and flooded 2.5-kilometer test-track, purposefully opened up for off-road car racing around the smoking hill after which the venue is named. As many times as it was driven through the tough terrain, the Hilux returned triumphantly.
Powered by 2.7-litre, 4-cylinder, inline, 16-valve DOHC (with Dual Variable Valve Timing-i) engine, mated to a 4-speed Automatic Transmission, the latest Hilux launched into the Nigerian market comes with a roomy double cabin, which seats 5 including the driver.
More than that, it is packed with safety features, especially ABS, Driver and passenger Dual SRS Airbags, Rear door Child lock, Immobilizer and siren anti-theft system, side turn signal lamp on the mirror, all occupants Headrest, Grip Assist and more power and ability to cruise through the roughest jungles across the country.
Please watch out for our detailed off-road test-drive report on the latest Toyota Hilux before the week runs out.
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