Toyota showed the Hilux MHEV (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle) prototype at the seventh round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) in Kenya this year. According to the details, the truck will have a 48-volt mild hybrid system, which is set for launch in 2024.
The prototype looks like a Hilux Rogue with an eye-catching livery that reads “HYBRID” in bold letters. Juha Kankkunen, a Finnish four-time WRC champion, and former Toyota world champion, drove the Hilux MHEV prototype. He stated:
I’m 100% sure that this type of car will fit in Africa very well because there are still long-distance drives and it’s very difficult to charge electric cars. You can save fuel, which means less CO2. Africa is a good market for this kind of car, and you can make CO2 less with hybrid cars. That is the future.
Toyota states that this prototype fits with Toyota’s multi-pathway plan for carbon neutrality, which involves developing several powertrain types including internal combustion, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, and battery electric motors to suit market conditions.
The company adds that the Hilux mild hybrid system has a 48-volt battery, a small electric motor generator, and other electric powertrain components.
These will be paired with the existing 2.8 turbodiesel four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automated transmission to improve fuel efficiency by 10% while keeping capabilities as they are. The Fortuner will also get this electrified powertrain.
The Hilux will get a mild hybrid system as standard on 4×4 SR5 and Rogue Double Cab trims and as an option on 4×4 SR Double Cabs in Australia. The hybridization of the Hilux trims will take effect from H1 2024.