Toyota Hilux set to become electric? Change is afoot for popular pick-up
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It's still a sales juggernaut both here and across the ditch, but the current Toyota Hilux is also growing steadily long in the tooth and questions are being asked about what lays ahead for its next-generation model.
Well, according to reporting by Automotive News, there's some big changes in the works for the Hilux.
According to the publication's sources at Toyota, the Hilux is set to share a new platform with the US-centric Tacoma and Tundra known currently as the 'F1' platform internally — with the potential for it to debut as early as next year.
This makes sense, given that Toyota have implemented a similar shared platform model with many of its passenger cars. The Corolla, Camry, RAV4, Prius, CH-R, and more all sit on the same 'TNGA' (Toyota Next Generation Architecture) platform. It's a move that, in many cases, has resulted in vastly improved cars, while simultaneously cutting the manufacturer costs.
Automotive News' same Toyota sources indicated that the move will help trigger electrification in the Hilux, via the implementation of hybrid powertrains.
This hasn't been confirmed by Toyota, of course. But, it can be considered to be inevitable due to the brand's commitment to produce electric, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid versions of all its models by 2025.
Those who fancy internal combustion engines might be in for a treat, too.
It's potentially unlikely, but the sharing of platforms between the Hilux and its American Toyota brethren means that Australasian buyers might have access to the bigger, more powerful engines offered on stateside models.
These include the Atkinson Cycle 3.5-litre V6 from the Tacoma, which makes 207kW of power at 6000rpm and 246Nm of torque at 3800rpm. Given Kiwis' love for diesel utes, speculation of American petrol engines joining our line-up seems unlikely.
But, the notion of an electrified Hilux would've seemed mightily unlikely a few years ago, too. So, time will tell.