Hybrid Hilux promised next year

Riley Riley

Toyota may not have kicked off the whole hybrid thing, but it has certainly made the technology its own here in Australia.

The Japanese car maker now offers hybrid versions of just about all models, except that is for Australia’s best-selling car — the Hilux utility.

That’s about to change with confirmation that Hilux will be offered for the first time with a 48-volt mild hybrid setup in the first half of 2024.

But here’s the thing, it won’t be a petrol hybrid like the rest of them. This one will be diesel-based, combining a diesel engine and an electric motor.

Diesel hybrids are nothing new, but they are few and far between.

The technology has been confined largely to heavy vehicles such as trucks and buses, although PSA produced the Peugeot 307 and Citroën C4 Hybride HDi concepts.

Cynics suggest the introduction of the diesel-hybrid Hilux is nothing more than market strategy, with Toyota rushing to beat Ford’s plug-in hybrid version of Ranger to market.

However, Toyota says the combination will offer about 10 percent better fuel economy, compared to current 2.8-litre turbo-diesel variants.

The diesel engine produces 150kW of power and 500Nm of torque in standard form.

Fuel consumption is expected to drop from 8.4L/100km to around 7.6L/100km.

An additional 48-volt battery, small electric motor-generator and other components will be added to the 2.8-litre turbo diesel, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

As well as better fuel consumption, it will also feature auto engine stop/start, improved driveability and reduced noise, vibration and harshness.

Toyota’s Sean Hanley said the introduction of “48-volt technology” to Hilux demonstrated Toyota’s commitment to reducing the fuel consumption of its vehicles without compromising on the performance and capability demanded by customers.

“We are continually striving to reduce the fuel consumption of our vehicles to help reduce on-going costs for customers, as well as helping reduce our environmental impact, and the addition of 48-volt technology to our biggest-selling vehicle line will contribute to this,” Mr Hanley said.

“This new technology will not only improve fuel consumption, but customers will also benefit from enhanced on and off-road performance, making the Hilux even more appealing for a weekend away or longer term excursion into the outback.” 

SR5 and Rogue dual cab models will come standard as hybrids, while it will be offered as an option for 4×4 SR Double Cab.

No word whether Fortuner will also get the hybrid update.

Toyota is keen to point out the change will not have any impact on the capability of the Hilux with the 4×4 models, maintaining their 3500kg braked towing capacity.


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