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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

All-new Toyota Fortuner coming in 2022 with hybrid assistance

Unveiling has ignited speculation of an earlier than forecasted debut of the model it is based on, the next generation Hilux.

Currently in its second generation after receiving a mid-life facelift last year together with the upgraded 2.8 GD-6 turbodiesel engine, a new report from India has alleged that Toyota will be unveiling the all-new third generation Fortuner next year.

The announcement by Chief Engineer Yoshiki Konishi to Autocar India comes as an unexpected surprise as the model on which it is based, the Hilux, is only expected to bow in 2023 or 2024. It has therefore ignited speculation of a potential earlier arrival to undercut that of the Ford Ranger-based next generation Volkswagen Amarok out in 2022.

According to Konishi, changes in store for Fortuner include an electronic vehicle stability control system, electric power steering “which will make the vehicle easier to drive” and significant upgrades to safety and driver assistance systems. Not changing though is the use of a body-on-frame construction which, as mentioned, will be shared with the Hilux.

“The Fortuner is built body-on-frame, which is one of its core concepts. We have no plan to change that. Customers who use the SUV off-road need the current body-on-frame (construction),” Konishi said.

Arguably the biggest departure from the current model, and in-line with Toyota’s electrification strategy of all of its vehicles by 2025, Konishi confirmed that the Fortuner will have a hybrid drivetrain, hinting at the possibility of the same configuration destined for the next generation Land Cruiser Prado out in 2023.

“At this time, a (pure) diesel powertrain is not the best. It’s difficult to meet regulations. So, we need to change from diesel to a diesel-plus-hybrid system, or also another powertrain. We have two types of hybrids – one is a strong hybrid and the second, a mild hybrid. So, these are one of our solutions,” he said.

Despite not revealing any further details, chances are that the Fortuner could follow the Prado and drop the stalwart 2.7-litre petrol engine for the new 2.5-litre hybrid petrol, while the diesel option could consist out of the 2.8 GD-6 paired to an electric motor for a diesel/electric setup rumoured to be heading for the Land Cruiser 300 Toyota will be unveiling in April.

For now, little else about the Fortuner is known but don’t be surprised if more details or rumours emerge within the coming months.

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