Toyota’s new Hilux now has extra power!

14 May 2024

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Toyota’s new Hilux and Fortuner 48V introduces electrification to the legendary pickup and SUV series for greater efficiency, improved driving performance and more convenience in urban and off-road environments.

The Hilux has become known for its quality, durability and reliability since its introduction in Japan in 1968. It has become one of Toyota’s most recognisable work vehicles and an iconic dual-purpose vehicle – at home in the city and in its element in the world’s toughest terrains.

On the other hand, the Fortuner still dominates the medium SUV segment in South Africa, with average sales of more than 800 per month and a market share of 40%. The Fortuner achieved its highest market share in 2020, reaching a staggering 57%.

Toyota has strengthened its inclusive multi-technology approach to carbon neutrality by adding a hybrid 48V system to the Hilux and Fortuner.

New 48V technology

The powerful 2.8-litre diesel engine is enhanced by the addition of a hybrid 48V system specifically designed for the unique requirements of Toyota’s dual-purpose pickup and SUV lifestyle.

The engine drives a compact motor-generator with a belt system, which in turn charges the new 48V lithium battery. This battery weighs only 7,6 kg and is small enough to be mounted under the rear seats to minimise impact on cabin space. The 48V battery also supplies power to the vehicle’s 12V system through a new DC/DC power converter.

Like Toyota’s full hybrid electric systems, the new battery is charged during deceleration, effectively utilising brake energy that would otherwise be lost, while also adding additional braking performance. Once charged, the battery delivers up to 12 kW of power and 65 Nm of torque to the motor-generator to improve acceleration, power and efficiency.

The robust motor-generator is compact and designed to withstand the tougher work environments experienced by commercial vehicles, while the engine is adapted for the hybrid system.

In combination with the motor-generator, the powerful and proven 2.8-litre double overhead cam diesel engine with 16 valves, meeting Euro 6d requirements, delivers a total of 150 kW at 3 400 rpm and 500 Nm of torque between 1 600 and 2 800 rpm.

Dynamic, efficient and quiet performance

The new 48V system combines lively acceleration, improved braking performance and greater fuel efficiency with a smoother ride, whether on the road or over rough terrain.

The additional power from the hybrid 48V system provides better accelerator response and linear acceleration in an urban environment, especially from a standing position, while regenerative braking creates more efficient and natural deceleration.

An improved start-stop system allows the engine to remain off for longer. Combined with the benefits of the hybrid 48V system, this improves fuel efficiency by up to 5% compared to the regular non-electrified diesel drive system.

In addition to those efficiency benefits, the improved start-stop system provides a smoother ride in heavy traffic thanks to faster accelerator response from a standing position and quieter engine re-engagement, achieved because the motor-generator is constantly connected to the engine and, unlike conventional systems, does not use the starter motor. It also allows the engine to engage at a higher speed.

Performance enhancements are not limited to urban environments for the Hilux and Fortuner 48V, and thanks to their illustrious heritage they naturally perform in the field or dirt roads. 

Motor-generator power also enables smoother acceleration when driving on rough terrain and regenerative braking supports safer downhill driving, while reducing the engine’s idling speed from 720 rpm to 600 rpm helps the driver control the vehicle more easily.

The new Multi Terrain Select system provides even better performance and control in the Hilux and Fortuner for the first time, allowing the driver to adjust vehicle stability control settings according to specific driving conditions.

Special attention has been given to ensuring that the Hilux and Fortuner 48V have formidable water capabilities. The 48V can drive through water up to 700 mm deep thanks to waterproofing of the 48V battery and DC-DC converter, while new anti-slip and reinforcement measures on the motor-generator pulley and belt ensure optimal performance, even when wet.

A strong and resilient ride

Hybrid efficiency and performance enhancements do not compromise towing and payload capacity (in the double cab). Like their Hilux and Fortuner stablemates, the 48V, with its body-on-frame architecture and ladder frame chassis, offers excellent durability and torsional rigidity. The hardened, durable leaf spring and double shock absorber rear suspension system combine the offroad capability expected of a rugged four-wheel-drive workhorse with good comfort and handling.


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