We've known for a while that Toyota has been eyeing hybrid power for its immensely popular Hilux ute. The new hybrid Hilux was even confirmed for New Zealand earlier this year, but we hadn't seen anything tangible until now, as Toyota has just made it official by unveiling the 2024 Hilux Hybrid 48V - a new variant that adds a 48V mild hybrid system to the current Hilux model.
Toyota says the hybridised Hilux promises enhanced efficiency, smoother performance, and improved driving dynamics in urban and off-road conditions without compromising towing and payload capacities.
Same looks, new power
The Hilux Hybrid 48V, set for Europe, Australia, and New Zealand in 2024, integrates a 48-volt mild-hybrid system with the existing 2.8-litre turbocharged diesel engine. This system includes a compact motor generator, a lightweight 48V lithium battery under the rear seats, and a new DC/DC converter.
This setup promises a 10 per cent improvement in fuel economy while maintaining the ute's signature off-road capability and reliability. Despite all that, the electrified Hilux retains its robust towing (3500kg) and payload capacities (1000kg), ensuring this Toyota remains a formidable workhorse ute.
The motor generator provides up to 12kW and 65 Nm of torque to the engine, enhancing acceleration and efficiency. For reference, the Hilux's 2.8-litre diesel mill alone delivers 150 kW and 500 Nm of torque.
According to Toyota, the hybrid system offers improved throttle response and smoother acceleration in urban settings. The standard regenerative braking system contributes to a more natural deceleration feel. An enhanced stop-start system also improves fuel efficiency by up to 5 per cent compared to non-electrified diesel powertrains.
Meanwhile, the new Multi-terrain Select system enhances off-road performance, offering five pre-set options - Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow, or Rock - to optimise vehicle stability control. In addition, the Hilux Hybrid 48V boasts impressive water-crossing capabilities, thanks to waterproofing measures for its 48V battery and DC-DC converter.
Safety-wise, the latest Toyota Safety Sense suite offers advanced protection, including an enhanced pre-collision system, updated lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control with road sign assist, and adaptive high beam function. The cabin gets the Toyota Smart Connect system, featuring an 8-inch touchscreen display, cloud-based navigation and interactive voice control.
The future of Hilux
Toyota has sold over 21 million Hilux utes globally since 1968. With the Hilux Hybrid 48V, the Hilux nameplate is entering an exciting new era of electrified motoring. Could the hybrid version attain the same level of success as its predecessors, especially as it competes with rivals like the Ford Ranger PHEV? We'll find out soon enough.
Stay tuned as Toyota reveals more about the 2024 Hilux Hybrid 48V, including pricing and detailed specifications, closer to its launch date next year.