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
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.