The Toyota Hilux is taking its first step towards electrification with a new 48-volt mild hybrid model.
Set to reach South Africa during 2024, the new powertrain derivative has just been announced in Europe, and with that we get to learn more of the details.
The system was designed specifically for the Hilux and consists of an engine-driven compact motor generator that powers up a 48V lithium battery, which can also be charged during braking.
The system, in turn, can send up to 12kW and 65Nm through the motor generator to the 2.8-litre diesel engine - which itself produces 150kW and 500Nm - to enhance acceleration and efficiency.
On that note, Toyota has yet to announce any fuel consumption figures for the new mild hybrid model, but claims to have improved efficiency by up to five percent.
This is also partly thanks to the improved idle-stop system, which is said to deliver a more comfortable drive in traffic due to its quicker throttle response from standstill and quieter engine restart that’s now possible because the motor generator is permanently connected to the engine.
Toyota says the battery weighs just 7.6kg and doesn’t impact on interior space as it’s small enough to fit beneath the back seat bench. The battery has also been waterproofed, in order to maintain the bakkie’s 700mm water wading ability.
The mild hybrid Hilux ushers in a new Multi-terrain Select system that allows the driver to adjust the vehicle stability control settings through five modes: Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow or Rock.
For the European market at least, the model sports an enhanced Pre-Collision System that can better detect pedestrians at night, cyclists during daytime, and oncoming vehicles or pedestrians at intersections when making turns.
The Lane Departure Alert has been improved as well, and now detects the roadside in addition to painted lines, while the Adaptive Cruise Control system with Road Sign Assist allows drivers to quickly adjust the speed based on the current limit, Toyota says, and also slows the vehicle automatically before corners on highway routes.
This, of course, all applies to the European version of the Toyota Hilux mild hybrid. South African specifications and pricing will be announced closer to launch.