Hilux-based next Fortuner will be Tacoma-based too
Toyota has always delivered a utility range that makes perfect sense. Cruiser 300 on top, the Prado below and the Seventy Series to the left. Below that, the bread and butter Fortuner, RAV4, Corolla Cross and Urban Cruiser. All alongside Mr. Big, Hilux. Perfect. But now Toyota is bringing the brand new and most exciting Land Cruiser 250, or Prado (below) as we will probably still know it.
Trouble is, while Toyota has remained mum on New Prado pricing, it has intimated that it will be considerably less expensive than the current model, which kicks off at R1.2 million.
NEW PRADO WILL COST LESS
This has led to speculation that the new one should start at around the late R800K mark. Which is pretty much what you’d expect pay for a mid to upper-end current model Fortuner. And which makes for some pretty interesting reading. Does this mean that the next Fortuner will follow the downward pricing trend? And will Prado cannibalise the top end of the Fortuner range? If so, how much of it?
All of which remains pure speculation. As of course does everything else about the next Fortuner (below). What we can tell you, however, is that the current Fortuner is based on the Hilux. Like the bakkie, it’s now into its third metamorphosis of a platform that’s well over ten years old. Not that its hurting either model on the sales charts, in spite of some pretty strong new rivals.
FORTUNER BASED ON TACOMA-BASED NEXT HILUX
That also gives us a good level of insight into what the Fortuner will offer under the skin. Which bedsides the bakkie’s leaf sprung solid axle rear end switching to an independent multilink set up and its altereed station wagon get-up, promises to be pretty much what the Tacoma is.
Now we also know that the next Hilux is a year and a half, or so away. And that it is expected to 90% be based of the recently revealed US market Tacoma. All part of Toyota consolidating its international midrange bakkie line up. And that’s pretty exciting news. Because there’s great excitement around that bakkie arriving here, in Europe and elsewhere in the Eastern Hemisphere, badged as Hilux.
SOME GOOD OLD TOYOTA TECH, MUCH NEW
So, what do we know about Hilux, nee Tacoma? Well from a SA point of view, it will probably come here with the current 2.8-litre turbodiesel in the Hilux GR Sport’s 165 kW 550 Nm state of tune, turning a new eight-speed automatic and the choice of 4×2, 4×4 and probably also permanent all-wheel drive in flagship models.
Don’t rule out the new mild hybrid version of that 2.8 turbodiesel that’s coming in the new Prado, either. Or a that AWD flagship, plausibly a Gazoo Racing version, powered by the new 240 kW 630 Nm I-Force Max turbo 2.4-litre hybrid with a 35 kW electric motor sparked by a 1.9-kilowatt-hour battery pack. Nice!
A COMPLETELY NEW COCKPIT TOO
We can also look forward to a new standard 8-inch touchscreen, with a 14-inch display in premium models. Both packing Toyota’s latest CarPlay and Auto compatible interface with wireless Apple and Qi wireless charging. Add a removable JBL Bluetooth speaker with the 10-speaker upgrade. And a 7 or 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
]Add Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 with things like pre-collision with pedestrian detection, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering lane tracing and road sign assistants around a new camera and radar system for advanced adaptive cruise control. Perhaps the biggest point of difference, is that it seems the next Prado is unlikely to come as a 7 seater, while Fortuner probably will.
And who knows, maybe Fortuner will lose those terrible old side-mount third row seats for a more contemporary bench that finally pops up out of the floor? Excited already? Well, so are we. We’d expect new Fortuner to follow shortly after the next Hilux, which should come late next year.
So expect the Fortuner to arrive during 2025. How will it look? Well, based on the Tacoma, these sketches are a wild guess. But who knows. Maybe we’re close! – Michele Lupini
Sketches: Michele Lupini