The Toyota HiLux is one of the most popular and reliable pickup trucks in the world. It has a reputation for being tough, durable, and capable of handling any terrain and challenge. But what if it could also be more efficient, responsive, and refined? That’s the promise of the new Toyota HiLux Hybrid 48V, a mild-hybrid version of the iconic ute that will arrive in Australia in 2024.
What is a mild-hybrid system?
A mild-hybrid system is an electrified powertrain with a small electric motor-generator and a 48-volt battery to assist the combustion engine. Unlike a full-hybrid system, the electric motor cannot power the vehicle independently, but it can provide extra torque, reduce fuel consumption, and improve drivability.
The mild-hybrid system works harmoniously with the existing 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission, producing 150 kW and 500 Nm of torque. The system also includes a 12-volt auxiliary battery and other components that regulate the energy flow between the 48-volt and 12-volt systems.
What are the benefits of the mild-hybrid system?
According to Toyota, the mild-hybrid system will offer several advantages for the HiLux, such as:
- Reduced fuel consumption by around 10 percent, from 8.4 L/100 km to approximately 7.6 L/100 km. This is comparable to the Ford Ranger 4x4 with the 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine, which claims 7.4 L/100 km.
- Enhanced on and off-road performance, thanks to the electric motor-generator can fill in the gaps in the engine’s power delivery, provide smoother engine braking, and improve engine response.
- Reduced noise, vibration, and harshness, as the mild-hybrid system can smooth out the engine’s operation and enable a stop-start function that automatically turns off the engine when idling.
What are the impacts of the mild-hybrid system on the HiLux’s capability?
Toyota has assured that the mild-hybrid system will not negatively impact the HiLux’s capability, whether it is towing, payload, or off-road performance. The 4x4 models with the mild-hybrid system will maintain a 3500-kg braked towing capacity and will not interfere with the HiLux’s four-wheel-drive system, differential locks, or traction control.
The mild-hybrid system will also not affect the HiLux’s dimensions, ground clearance, approach and departure angles, or wading depth. The system will be integrated into the existing chassis and body of the HiLux, with minimal changes to the exterior and interior design.
Which models will get the mild-hybrid system?
The mild-hybrid system will be standard for the SR5 and Rogue 4x4 dual-cab variants and available as an option for the SR 4x4 dual-cab. These are the most popular and high-end models in the HiLux range, which offer features such as LED headlights, alloy wheels, leather seats, smart key, and an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The mild-hybrid system will not be offered for the lower-spec models, such as the Workmate, SR, or SR5 4x2 variants, or the single-cab or extra-cab body styles. These models will continue to use the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine without the mild-hybrid system or the 2.7-litre petrol engine for the Workmate 4x2 variants.