Toyota is primed to unveil a diesel-hybrid version of its popular Fortuner SUV in 2022, according to international reports, leading to the obvious question - will the top-selling HiLux follow suit?
The news has surfaced out of Indonesia, where the first to break the news, the local CNN site, reported that Toyota's Director of Communications for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia, Bob Azam, confirmed more hybrid models were coming, with the publication understanding the executive as referring to the Fortuner as one of the model lines to be electrified.
The announcement came as a part of a $2.5b investment into more factory capacity, more R&D development, and - eventually - lower prices, with the company promising the Indonesian market 10 new electrified models by 2026.
The Fortuner, it should be pointed out, is assembled in Indonesia for the local market, and is offered with different engine choices than our own.
Read more about the Toyota Fortuner
But the reports were enough to inspire Phillipines' outlet Auto Industriya to lean on their own Toyota sources, with the publication confirming that Toyota would launch its first diesel-hybrid powertrain in Q2 2022, with electrification being added to the brand's GD diesel engine family, which includes the 1GD-FTV diesel found in Australia's HiLux and Fortuner.
It's also worth pointing out that Toyota already has diesel hybrid technology at work in its Hino truck brand, but it's unclear whether the brand will borrow from that technology.
According to Auto Industriya, the internal code fo the new engine is 188D, and the launch is planned for between April and June next year.
The news follows our own chat with Toyota this month, in which the brand's executives confirmed diesel-hybrid technology was still well and truly on the table.
Toyota told us it openly believes its HiLux customers, for example, would shift to a hybrid powertrain, provided an electrified dual-cab still delivered on the workhorse pillars of towing, load lugging and off-roading.
It's a thought echoed by Toyota Australia's General Manager of Product Planning and Development, Rod Ferguson, who told CarsGuide the brand was "actively considering" diesel-electric technology for its traditionally diesel-powered range.
The driving force, he says, is that some people are "particularly wedded to diesel", with the torque-rich tech even more popular farms and far from the city.
"We know that some people are particularly wedded to diesel. Some farmers, for example, store diesel on their property, or it’s more accessible, or you’re in a region where you can’t have petrol," he says.
"There are definite reasons to consider both of those of those options, and we’re actively considering both of those options.
"It's technically feasible, and there are open discussions, definitely. It all comes back to our desire to driver down our C02 emissions."