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HomeFeaturesThe new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner launching in South Africa this March – Photos

The new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner launching in South Africa this March – Photos

Toyota is launching mild-hybrid (MHEV) versions of the admirable Hilux and Fortuner in the next few weeks that will offer several benefits including reduced fuel consumption, improved acceleration performance, and better comfort levels.

These electrified drive units will be available exclusively in the Hilux Raider and Legend 2.8GD-6 double cabs, as well as in the Fortuner 2.8GD-6.

In contrast to these hybridised vehicles, Toyota will also be introducing the new Hilux GR-Sport III this March with beefy styling and an uprated powerplant running only on diesel and no electrons.

Mild-hybrid specifications

The MHEV powertrain coming to the Hilux and Fortuner combines Toyota’s stalwart 2.8-litre, GD-6, turbo-diesel engine that puts out 150kW and 500Nm with a 48-volt battery, electric motor generator, and DC converter.

The semi-electric setup boasts a few tangible advantages over the current driveline, in that it supplies 12kW and 65Nm of boost when pulling away from a standstill to allow for quicker and smoother acceleration, and cuts average fuel consumption by about 5% through an “advanced” Start/Stop system and a reduction in idling speed to 600rpm.

The automaker further said that the MHEV vehicles have lower noise, vibration, and harshness levels than their pure-combustion-engine counterparts, and they feature braking regeneration abilities which should reduce disc and pad wear.

Owners will still be able to make full use of the Hilux and Fortuner’s selectable 4×4 systems with 2H, 4H, and 4L settings; and they will retain all the capabilities that customers have come to demand and expect, such as the 800kg payload and 3,500kg towing capacities.

Pre-production Fortuner MHEV badging

The hybrid-specific styling cues of the Toyota MHEVs are minimal and include small “48V” stickers below the badges on the exterior. Inside the cabin, there were no obvious indications of their electrified underpinnings in the pre-production models shown to the media earlier this year.

Considering the Hilux MHEV will be available in both Raider and Legend guises, future buyers can expect the bakkie to come with automatic LED headlights, LED fog lamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, side steps, a leather multifunction steering wheel, a central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, dual-zone airconditioning, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, hill-assist control, downhill control, trailer sway control, and ABS with brake assist.

Those who opt for the Legend trim will additionally receive electric leather seats, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert, and 18-inch wheels.

For the Fortuner MHEV, standard amenities will similarly include auto LED lights, distinctive 18-inch wheels, keyless entry and start, partial leather upholstery, electric front seats, dual-zone climate control, an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control, a reverse camera with parking sensors, hill-assist control, downhill control, trailer sway control, and ABS with brake assist.

Pre-production Hilux MHEV interior

As with most years, there should be an annual update of the Hilux and Fortuner taking place sometime within the first quarter of 2024, with the rollout of the MHEV models in March alongside the Hilux GR-Sport III falling in harmony with this timeline.

The Fortuner’s looks were overhauled in February last year, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the Hilux follows suit this year.

The bakkie just had a facelift in the Australian market which could potentially come to South Africa, though it’s worth noting that Toyota has made no official comment on the refreshed double cab so it remains to be seen whether it will be a surprise introduction or not.

Regardless, we expect that the Toyota bakkie and SUV families will receive a small spec bump this month when the three newcomers are launched to keep them up-to-date until the next generation arrives.

Toyota Fortuner MHEV

Toyota Hilux MHEV

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