Toyota's HiLux, LandCruiser Prado and LandCruiser 300 Series will begin to be equipped with diesel hybrid engines from as early as 2023, with the Japanese giant keen to roll-out its electrification strategy to its diesel-powered line-up, according to new reports.
The news – which comes from Japan's Best Car Web – seems to confirm that Toyota's work on diesel-hybrid technology is closer than we first expected.
That Toyota has been working on an electrified solution for its diesel range is no secret, with the brand's local General Manager of Product Planning and Development, Rod Ferguson, telling 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.
Read more about the Toyota Landcruiser Prado
"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."
The fresh reports suggest Toyota is working on a new 2.5-litre hybrid, and a 3.5-litre, both equipped with a battery and an electric motor, with the smaller of the two options expected to appear on the Toyota LandCruiser Prado in 2023, at least internationally. Both those engines appear to be petrol powered.
But the reports also point to diesel hybrid "likely to be installed in off-road 4WD vehicles and commercial vehicle-based models" soon after, with the view to have every Toyota model offered with hybrid, whether it's diesel or petrol.
Based on those timings, the new HiLux – also expected around 2023-2024 –would be the first cab off the hybrid-diesel rank, while the LandCruiser 300 Series, the Prado, as well as the US-spec Tundra, are also in the queue for the diesel-electric upgrade.
The Prado and the HiLux are expected to share a twin-turbo 2.8-litre "clean diesel" that will provide the grunt, and which is expected to be both more powerful and more efficient than the current diesel donk, and could include electrification.
But would customers buy them?
"Absolutely they would," says Toyota Australia's VP of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley. "If it’s practical, affordable, and it does the things they need to do.
"We’ve never ruled out the expansion of hybrid into the broader Toyota range.
"If and when we do that, it will be suitable for the Australian environment. We have the knowledge and the testing, so if we deliver it, you can have the confidence it will do what needs to do."