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South Africa gets mild-hybrid Toyota Fortuner

Sold alongside the mild-hybrid Hilux

The Fortuner now has an optional space-age powertrain. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

When Toyota created a mild-hybrid version of the Hilux, we thought it would just be for testing purposes. But when it actually put the vehicle on sale in select markets, we were surprised because we never thought that the platform even had the capacity for such a transformation. But it turns out that it does, and the automaker has just given the Fortuner SUV the same treatment.

There are no changes to the exterior other than a subtle ‘48V’ badge. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

Launched in South Africa, the electrified Fortuner gets by with a 2.8-liter turbodiesel (201hp). The mild-hybrid bits come in the form of a lithium-ion battery pack and its accompanying hardware that can add 16hp when needed. Regenerative braking and a stop-start system are included in the package, and Toyota claims a 5% improvement in fuel economy compared to the regular diesel Fortuner.

An interior without GR emblems looks cleaner and more premium. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

Demand for mild-hybrid vehicles seems to be strong in South Africa. Customers can choose from no fewer than eight variants of the 48V Fortuner (and six trim levels of the 48V Hilux). Prices start at 834,800 South African rand (P2.5 million), and it will be interesting to see if Toyota will introduce this version of the Fortuner in other countries (including ours).

Miggi Solidum

Professionally speaking, Miggi is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He pens the column ‘G-Force’.