Toyota has unveiled its latest innovation for the HiLux, the best-selling pickup truck in the world. The new Toyota HiLux Hybrid 48V is a mild-hybrid system combining a 2.8-liter diesel engine, a 48-volt battery, and a small electric motor-generator. The result is a more fuel-efficient, responsive, and refined vehicle that enhances the HiLux’s legendary reputation as an unbeatable icon.
What is a mild-hybrid system, and how does it work?
A mild-hybrid system is a type of electrification that does not replace the internal combustion engine but rather assists it with electric power. Unlike a full-hybrid system, a mild-hybrid system cannot propel the vehicle solely on electric power, but it can provide a boost of torque, reduce fuel consumption, and improve emissions.
The Toyota HiLux Hybrid 48V system consists of four main components: a 48-volt battery, a belt-driven integrated starter generator (BISG), a DC/DC converter, and a 12-volt auxiliary battery. The 48-volt battery is located under the rear seat and has a capacity of 0.5 kWh. The BISG is connected to the diesel engine's crankshaft and can act as both a motor and a generator. The DC/DC converter regulates the voltage between the 48-volt and the 12-volt systems. The 12-volt auxiliary battery powers the vehicle’s accessories and electronics.
The system works in three ways: torque assist, regenerative braking, and stop-start function. Torque assist means that the BISG can provide up to 10 kW of electric power to the diesel engine, especially at low speeds and during acceleration. This reduces the load on the engine and improves its responsiveness and performance. Regenerative braking means that the BISG can recover kinetic energy from the vehicle’s deceleration and store it in the 48-volt battery. This reduces the fuel consumption and the brake wear. The stop-start function means that the BISG can automatically turn off the engine when the vehicle is idling, such as at a traffic light, and restart it smoothly and quickly when the driver presses the accelerator. This reduces the fuel consumption and the emissions.
What are the benefits of the HiLux Hybrid 48V system?
The Toyota HiLux Hybrid 48V system offers drivers and the environment several benefits. According to Toyota, the system can reduce fuel consumption by around 10%, from 8.4 L/100 km to approximately 7.6 L/100 km. This translates to a lower running cost and a lower carbon footprint. The system can also improve the drivability and the refinement of the HiLux, as the electric power can fill the gaps in the diesel engine’s torque curve, resulting in a smoother and more linear acceleration. The system can also reduce the diesel engine's noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH), as the BISG can balance the engine’s rotational irregularities and dampen the vibrations.
The 2024 Toyota HiLux Hybrid 48V system does not compromise the capability of the HiLux, as it maintains the same towing capacity of 3,500 kg and the same payload capacity of 1,000 kg. The system also does not affect the off-road performance of the HiLux, as it can enhance the engine braking and traction control. The system is also designed to withstand the harsh conditions and the heavy-duty use that the HiLux is known for.
How does the HiLux Hybrid 48V compare to its competitors?
The 2024 Toyota HiLux Hybrid 48V is not the first pickup truck to adopt a mild-hybrid system, as some of its competitors have already introduced similar technologies. For example, the Ford Ranger offers a 2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system in some markets, such as Europe and South Africa. The system can provide up to 15 kW of electric power and reduce fuel consumption by up to 9%. The Ranger also offers a 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system in some markets, such as the US and Canada. The system can provide up to 35 kW of electric power and reduce fuel consumption by up to 12%.
Another example is the Isuzu D-Max, which offers a 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system in some markets, such as Thailand and Malaysia. The system can provide up to 10 kW of electric power and reduce fuel consumption by up to 11%. The D-Max also offers a 1.9-liter turbo diesel engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system in some markets, such as Europe and Australia. The system can provide up to 7 kW of electric power and reduce fuel consumption by up to 8%.
The table below summarizes the key specifications and features of the HiLux Hybrid 48V and its main competitors:
|Toyota HiLux Hybrid 48V
|2.8-liter diesel + 48-volt mild-hybrid
|$40,000 - $60,000
|Ford Ranger 2.0 Bi-Turbo 48V
|2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel + 48-volt mild-hybrid
|$45,000 - $65,000
|Ford Ranger 3.0 V6 48V
|3.0-liter V6 diesel + 48-volt mild-hybrid
|$50,000 - $70,000
|Isuzu D-Max 3.0 48V
|3.0-liter turbo diesel + 48-volt mild-hybrid
|$35,000 - $55,000
|Isuzu D-Max 1.9 48V
|1.9-liter turbo diesel + 48-volt mild-hybrid
|$30,000 - $50,000
What are the challenges and opportunities for the HiLux Hybrid 48V?
The 2024 Toyota HiLux Hybrid 48V is a bold move by Toyota to keep its leading position in the global pickup truck market, as the demand for more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles is increasing. However, the system also faces some challenges and opportunities in different regions and segments.
In Europe, the HiLux Hybrid 48V is expected to boost HiLux sales, as the region has strict emission regulations and high fuel prices. The system can also appeal to customers who value the reliability and durability of the HiLux, as well as the lower running cost and carbon footprint. However, the HiLux Hybrid 48V will also face stiff competition from other pickup trucks that offer similar or better mild-hybrid systems, such as the Ford Ranger, the Isuzu D-Max, and the Mitsubishi L200. The system will also have to compete with other electrified vehicles, such as plug-in hybrids and full-electric vehicles, that offer lower fuel consumption and emissions.
In Australia, the HiLux Hybrid 48V is likely to maintain the popularity of the HiLux, as the country is one of the largest markets for the HiLux and the pickup truck segment in general. The system can also attract customers looking for a more refined and responsive vehicle, as well as a lower fuel consumption and a lower carbon footprint. However, the HiLux Hybrid 48V will also face some challenges from customers who are skeptical about the system's performance and durability, especially in the harsh and remote conditions in which the HiLux is often used. The system will also have to justify its price premium over the non-hybrid versions of the HiLux, like the Toyota Hilux GR SPORT and the competitors that offer similar or better mild-hybrid systems, such as the Ford Ranger and the Isuzu D-Max.
In Asia, the HiLux Hybrid 48V is expected to increase the market share of the HiLux, as the region is one of the fastest-growing markets for the HiLux and the pickup truck segment in general. The system can also appeal to customers looking for a more modern and advanced vehicle, as well as a lower fuel consumption and a lower carbon footprint. However, the HiLux Hybrid 48V will also face some challenges from customers loyal to the traditional and proven diesel engines, as well as the competitors offering cheaper and simpler alternatives, such as the Nissan Navara and the Chevrolet Colorado.
In summary, the new Toyota HiLux Hybrid 48V is a game-changing innovation for the HiLux, the best-selling pickup truck in the world. The system offers a more fuel-efficient, responsive, and refined vehicle, enhancing the HiLux’s legendary reputation as an unbeatable icon. The system also faces some challenges and opportunities in different regions and segments as it competes with other pickup trucks that offer similar or
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