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New off-road hybrid heroes inbound: 2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado and Lexus GX look set to share petrol-hybrid i-Force Max powertrain

The LandCruiser Prado and Lexus GX could share a hybrid engine.

Lexus in Australia says it has its hand in the air for a hybrid-petrol powertrain for the GX, while Toyota is currently studying the same engine setup for its Prado, meaning the two off-road-focused siblings could soon share the same electrified powertrain.

The Lexus GX will arrive in the middle of 2024 powered by a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6, but the model will be offered internationally with a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol-hybrid.

Lexus in Australia – which has vowed to electrify its entire line-up by 2030  – says that engine is high on it wish list, but that it likely won't be offered to Australia until the Federal Government's New Vehicle Efficiency Standards (NVES) are confirmed and introduced, which will likely occur in July.

Under NVES policy, vehicles will be subject to an enforceable policy that requires car companies to meet average emission targets across their entire new-vehicle fleets, and will face fines for exceeding those numbers. The policy is designed to fast-track the introduction of the low- and zero-emission vehicles.

"We're always putting our hand up for electrified models. If that powertrain becomes available for our market and meets our customer needs, we will definitely be taking it," Lexus Australia CEO, John Pappas, told CarsGuide.

"As long as it meets the needs of the customer, we will look at it every single day of the week. But it hasn't been offered to our market. It's definitely being prioritised for China and USA, and we don't have (fuel efficiency standards) yet.

The Prado's arrival will see it fitted with a 48-volt 2.8-litre turbo-diesel, producing 150kW and 500Nm.

"One hundred per cent of our sales will be electrified by the end of 2030, and that means hybrid, battery, plug-in hybrid will be across all of it. That's our plan as of today."

The powertrain is what Toyota calls its Hybrid Max, and 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. Towing is listed at 2.7-tonne braked.

Toyota, too, has its eye on the Max for the new Prado, though concedes it won't be launching with the vehicle in 2024. Instead, the Prado's arrival will see it fitted with a 48-volt 2.8-litre turbo-diesel, producing 150kW and 500Nm, with power sent to all four wheels via a new Direct Shift eight-speed automatic.

"Our commitment is to reduce our carbon footprint. Nothing's off the table for Toyota. This is the positive side of having a multi-pathway strategy. We have great global resources, we have great capability. We have availability of vehicles around the world. We can select from under the Toyota banner,"  Toyota Australia VP of Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley, told CarsGuide.

The Lexus GX will arrive in the middle of 2024 powered by a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6.

"So we're looking forward to the years in front. Is anything off the table? No.

"Nothing to announce today, but (it's) certainly one that we're examining in the US right now. We won't rule it out because it's part of our multi-pathway strategy.

"It makes good sense to do that. We haven't confirmed that vehicle but it is certainly a vehicle of interest."

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...
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