More details on the Toyota Hilux Hybrid
If you follow the news, you will recall that Toyota has been flirting around with the idea of an electrified Hilux bakkie. In June this year, the manufacturer showcased, at the seventh round of the WRC in Kenya, its heavily camouflaged Hilux GR-S concept that packs a mild-hybrid system.
Although the exact specifications of the engine were kept under tight wraps, we were left speculating that it would use a 48-volt battery pack powering a compact electric motor that works in tandem with its 2.8-litre 4-pot turbodiesel. Toyota has revealed its Hilux hybrid model for the European market, paving the way for hybridisation of the Hilux nameplate.
First things first. It packs a 2.8-litre, 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine that is paired with a hybrid 48-volt system that has been designed specifically for bakkies. It works by means of the engine driving a compact motor generator using a belt system, which in turn charges the 48-volt battery that is placed under the rear seats, weighing only 7.6kg.
Toyota says that the 48-volt battery also supplies the vehicle’s 12-volt system through a new DC/DC converter. As for recharging the battery pack, it can be recharged via regenerative braking, and once it’s fully charged, it adds about 12kW of power and 65Nm to the ICE’s standard 150kW and 500Nm.
While the engine has been modified to work with the hybrid system, Toyota claims that the compact motor generator is designed to endure even the most demanding working conditions that are often associated with bakkies.
With the hybrid system, Toyota says the Hilux’s fuel efficiency has improved by up to 5% compared to the normal Hilux due to the enhanced start-stop system.
With respect to towing, the new Hilux Hybrid maintains the standard model's 3,500kg rating, its wading depth of up to 700mm, and approach and departure angles of 29 and 26 degrees.
The hybridised Hilux is expected to be introduced to the European market sometime in mid-2024, and while local availability hasn’t yet been confirmed, we speculate that it could arrive before the end of 2024 to challenge the Ford Ranger Wildtrak PHEV.
As far as electrification is concerned, the Hilux hybrid ushers the commercial side of the brand towards a more sustainable future, and should it ever get the green light for the local market, it will be a welcome addition.