Toyota Fortuner Hybrid, Hilux Hybrid: Are You Ready for the Future of Off-Roading?
The upcoming generation of the Toyota Fortuner and Hilux will be built on the versatile TNGA-F platform, capable of accommodating both traditional internal combustion engines (ICE) and hybrid powertrains. Toyota has officially confirmed the introduction of mild-hybrid powertrains for these models, with senior vice president of sales and marketing, Leon Theron of Toyota South Africa, shedding light on this development a few months ago. While specific details about the mild-hybrid system have emerged more recently, it’s clear that Toyota is embracing hybrid technology across all markets for these popular SUV and pickup models.
Toyota Hybrid Powertrain Details
Toyota has presented an E100-capable version of the Fortuner (able to run on 100% Ethanol) and showcased a similar option for the Hilux. However, in the near term, a hybrid powertrain configuration appears to be the more practical choice. Both the Hilux and Fortuner share the IMV2 platform and are currently powered by a 2.8-liter diesel engine, with the Fortuner also offering a 2.7-liter petrol option.
The TNGA-F platform, featured in the next-generation Fortuner and Hilux, has already been implemented in the Land Cruiser 300 and Lexus LX500d. It is also slated for use in the upcoming Tacoma for the North American market. Toyota’s adoption of the TNGA platform has resulted in significant enhancements in structural design, chassis dynamics, and engine and transmission performance, all of which will soon benefit the Fortuner and Hilux.
In 2021, Mr. Yoshiki Konishi, President of Toyota Daihatsu Engineering and Manufacturing, had indicated that the next-generation Fortuner would incorporate a hybrid powertrain. This has now been confirmed by Toyota South Africa, indicating that the forthcoming Fortuner and Hilux models will feature a 48V mild-hybrid system.
While many other automakers are predominantly focusing on Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Toyota remains committed to advancing hybrid technology. However, Toyota has not completely disregarded the electric vehicle segment, as evidenced by the introduction of the Hilux Revo BEV concept in Thailand in December of the previous year. Nevertheless, Toyota’s immediate priority remains firmly rooted in hybrid technology.
Next-gen Fortuner, Hilux mild-hybrid powertrain
Toyota has opted to enhance its existing 2.8-liter turbocharged diesel engine with a 48V mild-hybrid powertrain for use in the Fortuner and Hilux models. In their current configuration, this 2.8-liter diesel engine generates an impressive 204 PS of maximum power, accompanied by 420 Nm of torque when paired with the 6-speed manual transmission, and 500 Nm with the 6AT.
This 48V mild hybrid system introduces several advantages, including improved torque, a seamless engine stop/start feature, regenerative braking, enhanced fuel efficiency, quieter engine starts, and an overall improved driving experience. The setup consists of a belt-driven electric generator (which replaces the conventional alternator), a 48V battery, and a converter.
The integration of this mild hybrid technology is expected to result in a potential 10% increase in fuel efficiency compared to the current diesel-only setup. Importantly, these rugged vehicles, the Hilux and Fortuner, will maintain their exceptional off-road capabilities despite the addition of mild hybrid technology. Their off-road performance, towing capacity, and impressive 700 mm water-wading capability will remain unaffected. Toyota has even showcased a hybrid Hilux prototype at a recent WRC event, underlining its commitment to incorporating hybrid technology into these models.