SA-bound Toyota Hilux mild hybrid announced, with claimed fuel savings of up to 10%

Published Jun 27, 2023


Melbourne - The Toyota Hilux is getting a mild hybrid option for buyers who seek a more fuel efficient bakkie solution.

During a press conference in May, where the company also announced its intention to launch a more affordable bakkie, Toyota SA’s senior vice president for sales and marketing, Leon Theron, confirmed that mild hybrid versions of the Hilux and Fortuner would be launched locally in 2024.

Now Toyota’s Australian division has announced the first details of the 48-Volt technology, which also goes on steam in that market next year.

The system will pair the familiar 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine and six-speed automatic gearbox with an additional 48-Volt battery as well as a small electric motor-generator and other components, including stop-start system.

Although it’s not a full hybrid like the Corolla Cross HEV, Toyota is claiming a fuel saving of up to 10% for the 48-Volt Hilux, which would theoretically reduce the claimed fuel consumption figure for the 2.8 GD-6 4x4 from 8.0 l/100km to around 7.2 l/100km.

Toyota says the 48-Volt models will also boast reduced noise, vibration and harshness and improved driveability.

What’s more, it won’t have any impact on the braked towing capacity, which remains at 3 500kg, while the 4x4 versions will retain the same off-road capabilities.

However, it’s not yet known how much more power the small electric motor will add to the current model’s tally of 150kW and 500Nm.

"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," said Toyota Australia’s sales VP Sean Hanley.

"This new technology will not only improve fuel consumption, but customers will also benefit from enhanced on and off-road performance, making the Hilux even more appealing for a weekend away or longer term excursion into the outback," he said.

In South Africa, there will be an increased focus on hybrid vehicles going forward, as a more realistic solution for reducing carbon footprints, versus full electric vehicles, which would draw power from a dirty grid and which would limit distances travelled.

The local division believes that plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) are possibly the best solution for our market, although TSAM is still working with its parent company to get the pricing sums right for forthcoming models. At this stage there’s no word on the availability of a PHEV Hilux, although in the longer term it would likely make a lot of sense.

IOL Motoring