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Confirmed! All-new Toyota HiLux launch timing revealed as next-generation Ford Ranger rival finally looms

An all-new Toyota HiLux is coming to Australia soon. (Image credit: Thanos Pappas)

An all-new Toyota HiLux could be less than 12 months away, with Toyota in Australia finally confirming the launch window for its long-awaited rival to the Ford Range and Isuzu D-Max.

Toyota in Australia says the new model will launch locally in 2025, meaning the wait is almost over for an all-new HiLux.

Fielding questions on whether the all-new HiLux would be able to retain its diesel engine in the face of tightening emissions regulations, Toyota Australia's VP of Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley, answered "you'll have to wait until '25", seemingly confirming rumours that the new model would arrive next year.

The local executive wouldn't be drawn on what would be powering the new model, but has previously flagged everything from a BEV, a plug-in hybrid and even a hydrogen fuel-cell being under study.

Seemingly firming, though, is at least the option of an i-Force Max petrol-hybrid powertrain, which is also destined to appear in the new LandCruiser Prado.

It links a 2.4-litre turbo-petrol engine with a 36kW electric motor integrated into an eight-speed transmission to pump out a total 243kW and 630Nm. It should prove both powerful and efficient, and would deliver a 2.7-tonne braked towing capacity – admittedly down on the the three-tonne-plus expected from a diesel.

"We were studying the options on all our cars before NVES, but let's be clear — whatever happens, there's going to be an emissions standard, and we will have to adjust our portfolio of product," Hanley told CarsGuide.

"I just don't know now what that means, we're studying that, at the appropriate time we'll let you know."

Also on the cards is a plug-in hybrid powertrain, with Mr Hanley previously confirming the technology is being developed for LCVs.

"If you had asked me three, four, five years ago, I was reluctant, because I don't think it's a convenient technology,” Mr Hanley says.

Toyota in Australia says the new model will launch locally in 2025, meaning the wait is almost over for an all-new HiLux.

“However, having said that, that was under the condition that you got very little, or no, BEV (battery electric vehicle) power alone from a PHEV.

“However, battery technology evolves, and it's evolving quickly. If we can get to a situation where a PHEV has the capability of doing 200-plus kilometres on BEV alone — so in other words, if I've got a HiLux I can just go around town, I can run that on BEV and be carbon-neutral pretty well, providing I'm using renewable energy to do it.

“Now the issue is of course, can it tow? Can it take a heavy load? Well, to be able to flick a switch and say, well, for those moments where I'm going out off-road or for those moments where I need to tow a heavy load, I've got the convenience of going to a normal hybrid engine and I can get 500 or 600 kilometres and it's convenient, then I see a role for PHEV in that space.

“I think that's some years away, to be honest, that battery technology. But when it comes, PHEVs will have a renewed engagement with the market because they'll go from what I call the ultimate inconvenience to the ultimate convenience.”

Asked directly whether Toyota is working on a 200km-range PHEV, Mr Hanley replied: “Of course we are. And so that to us would represent two things. It's practical (and) it can do things that the customer wants it to do.”

Whatever happens, expect some form of electrification on the HiLux, with Toyota committing to electrifying every model in its line-up by 2030, which doesn't include 48-volt technology.

Given the shelf-life of a new ute, and the impending New Vehicle Emissions Standard, an electrified HiLux feels inevitable.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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