Toyota adds Hilux, Fortuner hybrids to its local production line-up

12th April 2024

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) has added the Hilux double-cab and Fortuner 48 V mild hybrids to its local production line-up at its Durban plant, in KwaZulu-Natal.

The addition of the new models brings Toyota’s local hybrid production tally to three, adding to the existing Corolla Cross hybrid assembly.

TSAM says the launch of the models “introduces electrification to the pick-up and sports utility vehicle (SUV) range for the first time”.

The Hilux is South Africa’s best-selling vehicle, while the Fortuner still commands the largest slice of the medium SUV segment in South Africa, with average sales of more 800 units a month and a market share of 40%.

“By adding a hybrid 48 V system to the Hilux and Fortuner, Toyota strengthens its inclusive multitechnology pathway approach to carbon neutrality,” notes the local arm of the Japanese manufacturer.

“Toyota believes all customers need a variety of affordable and practical options, including for commercial and off-road vehicles.”

The hybrid system uses Toyota’s 2.8 ℓ diesel engine. This engine drives a compact motor generator using a belt system, which, in turn, charges the new 48 V, 7.6 kg lithium battery, which is small enough to be installed under the rear seats to minimise impact on cabin space.

This battery also supplies the vehicle’s 12 V system.

Like Toyota’s full hybrid electric systems, the battery is charged during deceleration, regenerating braking energy that would otherwise be lost, while also adding additional braking performance.

Once charged, the battery sends up to 12 kW of power and 65 Nm of torque through the motor generator to the engine to enhance acceleration, power and efficiency.

Toyota says the motor generator is compact and has been designed to withstand the harsher working environments of commercial vehicles, while the engine has been modified to adapt to the hybrid system.

“A new two-arm belt tensioner and stronger belt material contribute to the improved drivability and a quieter ride, whilst retaining the vehicle’s famous durability.”

Toyota also notes that the hybrid system, as well as an enhanced stop-start system that allows the engine to remain off for longer periods, both serve to improve fuel efficiency by up to 5%, compared with the conventional nonelectrified diesel powertrain.

Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Toyota and Ford are all currently producing some form of hybrid in South Africa, or will soon do so.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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