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Toyota Fortuner 2021 launch to be pushed back: New HiLux-based SUV delayed as factory remains shutdown - reports

The Toyota Fortuner could be delayed as its Thai factory remains in lockdown.

The new Toyota Fortuner is expected to be delayed, with international media today reporting the Thai factory responsible for building the incoming Isuzu MU-X rival remains shutdown as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Fortuner was expected to follow the facelifted HiLux to Australia around the middle of the year, packing the same engine and technology upgrades that will help the ute take the fight to the Ford Ranger.

But the date is expected to now be pushed back, with the Thai factory locked down until at least May 9 - though it could be shuttered longer as the country continues to battle the coronavirus, meaning an Australian launch later in 2020 at the earliest. 

The reports, which appeared on Auto Industriya, quote sources close to the project that confirm the Thai factory remains on a shutdown order, and that the official build date of the new Fortuner has been bumped from May to June.

The news follows new renders (based on spy pics) appearing online, with design house ia.dsgn's images showing a sharper front end headlined by a new grille delivering a very different road presence.

Elsewhere, we're expecting the Fortuner's 2.8-litre diesel to get a power boost from its current 130kW and 450Nm outputs, with those figures lifted by about 20kW and 20Nm.

We're also expecting true smartphone mirroring for the first time, courtesy of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.