With the rest of Toyota’s lineup going electrified, many were wondering what would happen to the ever-popular IMV-based Hilux (and its three-row SUV sibling, the Fortuner). Many were speculating that it would follow the Tacoma, adopting the body-on-frame TNGA-F platform with hybrid drivetrains.
But just recently, Toyota Australia has confirmed that a mild-hybrid variant of the popular pickup will be arriving in the first half of 2024.
Some confirmed specifications include a 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine—the 1GD-FTV—with a small motor-generator unit, a 48V battery, a six-speed automatic transmission, and other things that will be found in the Hilux MHEV.
Toyota says it will offer a 10% increase in fuel economy with an engine start-stop system, and that it will have no impact on the truck’s capability, like being able to tow 3,500kg, which is great for those worried that it will make the Hilux “softer.”
More details will come closer to the vehicle’s launch in 2024, but Toyota Gazoo Racing put it through its paces at the seventh round of the World Rally Championship in Kenya, Africa. It resembled the current Hilux GR Sport inside and out, just covered with a hybrid livery.
Behind the wheel was four-time Finnish WRC champion Juha Kankkunen, so the truck was pushed to the limits by capable hands. Kankkunen had nothing but positive things to say about the truck.
If anything, surviving the harsh rally stages in Africa without any problems should prove that the vehicle can handle anything, even the bad roads of Metro Manila.
It will be inevitable that the mild-hybrid tech will make it to the Fortuner since it shares underpinnings with the truck. Also, it is now a matter of just when Toyota Motor Philippines will bring it in, seeing how popular the truck is in our country.