The mild-hybrid 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine in the HiLux could make its way into the Fortuner SUV as soon as next year, according to unconfirmed reports.
The 2024 Toyota Fortuner may become the next off-road SUV from the brand to receive mild-hybrid technology in Australia – at a similar time to, or shortly after the new Prado due mid next year.
In June 2023, Toyota confirmed certain versions of the HiLux ute would add mild-hybrid technology – which is claimed to trim fuel use by about 10 per cent in lab-test conditions – from the first half of 2024, following an exclusive report from Drive in February 2024 outlining the changes.
A report from Indian publication GaadiWaadi speculates the Fortuner SUV is due to adopt the same technology in India from early 2024.
An Australian arrival is yet to be confirmed, however it may be mid-year before the model is launched here, if it is given the green light.
It appears the company’s local division will avoid using the word ‘hybrid’ in its marketing materials for vehicles with the mild-hybrid system – possibly opting to call it ‘Toyota Kinetic Assist’, per a trademark filing found by Drive – given mild-hybrid tech typically only trims fuel economy by around 10 per cent, compared to 40 or 50 per cent with traditional Toyota hybrid systems.
The 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine currently offered in both the Fortuner and HiLux will be paired with a 48-volt system and a small electric motor-generator to run ancillary systems and reduce load on the engine – rather than powering the wheels directly – thus improving fuel consumption and emissions.
In May 2023, a senior executive from Toyota’s South African division confirmed mild-hybrid variants of both the HiLux and the Fortuner would be launched in that market in 2024.
The mild-hybrid system has been confirmed for the new Toyota Prado, which is due in Australia in mid 2024.
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