Toyota's big diesel-hybrid vision: The electrified diesel engines coming to the new LandCruiser Prado and HiLux - reports

Toyota's big diesel-hybrid vision: The electrified diesel engines coming to the new LandCruiser Prado and HiLux - reports
Toyota has plans to electrify its line-up by the end of the decade, including the LandCruiser Prado. (Image: Thanos Pappas)

Toyota is reportedly beavering away on a method to extend the life of its diesel engines, with the brand to launch the all-new HiLux-based Fortuner with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system ahead of a new, full diesel-electric powertrain. 

If the reports prove accurate, it will be the first time Toyota has electrified a diesel engine in its range, but equally, the brand is heavily reliant on the rapidly-vanishing engine technology in its commercial and 4WD vehicle range, so electrification is a must.

The reports, published in Brazil’s Motor1, suggest the Fortuner will be the first electrified model to arrive, and will pair Toyota’s familiar 2.8-litre turbo-diesel powerplant – also seen in the HiLux – with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which should help reduce fuel use and emissions, but without adding much in the way of extra power.

According to the site, the model will be offered in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations, and will include a choice between a manual or automatic transmission.

In exciting news, the model is expected to arrive globally in the early months of 2023 – though what that means for the new HiLux is yet to be determined – and will be billed as a 2024 model.

Reports point to an all-new TNGA-F platform – the same as that underpins models like the Toyota LandCruiser, Tundra and Tacoma – which means capability will remain at the core of an electrified Fortuner. 

And that’s just the beginning, with Japanese media reports pointing to a proper diesel-electric hybrid coming to the brand’s commercial range in the near future.

It ties in with Toyota’s promise to have an electrified version of every model by the end of the decade, with the site claiming a diesel-electric hybrid is being worked on for its commercial and off-road vehicles.

It will join a host of new petrol-electric powertrains, with the brand reportedly working on 2.5-litre and 3.5-litre engine options, some of which will no-doubt appear in its commercial vehicles. 

We do know that Toyota in Australia has been “actively considering” diesel-electric technology for its traditionally diesel-powered range, telling CarsGuide last year that the tech would be a solution for those “particularly wedded to diesel”.

“We know that some people are particularly wedded to diesel. Some farmers, for example, store diesel on their property, or it’s more accessible, or you’re in a region where you can’t have petrol,” said the brand’s local General Manager of Product Planning and Development, Rod Ferguson.

“There are definite reasons to consider both of those of those options, and we’re actively considering both of those options.

“It’s technically feasible, and there are open discussions, definitely. It all comes back to our desire to driver down our C02 emissions.”

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