Toyota HiLux mild-hybrid unveiled for Europe

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The European version of the mild-hybrid HiLux has been ahead of its Australian arrival in mid 2024 – but here, it won’t be called a hybrid.

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The so-called Toyota HiLux Hybrid has been unveiled in Europe ahead of its arrival in Australia – and name change – in 2024.

Presented by Toyota in a double-cab body with minor styling tweaks, the mild-hybrid HiLux pairs a 2.8-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission with an electric motor and lithium battery.

The engine drives the electric motor charging the 48-volt battery which, combined with regenerative braking, feeds an additional 12kW/65Nm to the engine for improved efficiency.

The 7.6kg battery also supplies the vehicle’s 12V electrical system to power ancillaries such as cabin and dash lighting.

The 2.8-litre turbo diesel makes 150kW/500Nm and meets the toughest ‘Euro 6’ pollution regulations by using a diesel particulate filter – as all HiLux utes in Australia already do – as well as ‘Urea Additional Injection’, an additive best known as ‘AdBlue’ to reduce exhaust emissions.

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The car maker says the HiLux Hybrid 48V’s technology lowers fuel consumption by around 10 per cent.

While Toyota has not provided any official claims, this would take the official 7.9L/100km combined figure for HiLux SR5 double-cab 4×4 in Australia down to 7.1L/100km.

It will debut on the HiLux SR5 double-cab 4×4 and HiLux Rogue double-cab 4×4 models in Australia but will be given an alternate name to avoid comparisons with its other hybrid models.

Toyota’s petrol-hybrid cars typically achieve 40 to 50 per cent lower fuel consumption than their petrol-only versions, significantly greater than the mild-hybrid’s 10 per cent improvement.

In what appears to be an effort not to diminish the reputation its hybrid vehicles have built up over several decades, Toyota Australia omitted ‘mild hybrid’ from its media materials when confirming the HiLux Hybrid 48V for Australia.

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Regardless of the name, the HiLux Hybrid 48V offers an identical 3500kg tow-rating as the non-hybrid HiLux SR5, a 1000kg payload only 10kg less but with an unchanged 700mm water-wading capability.

Toyota is yet to provide final specifications including overall weight for the HiLux Hybrid 48V – and its Australian name.

The technology may expand to other models including the HiLux-based Toyota Fortuner SUV, which uses the same 2.8-litre engine also expected to be offered in the Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series.

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