Toyota Australia has confirmed 48-volt mild-hybrid technology is coming to the HiLux in the first half of 2024.

    The system will be combined with the existing 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission, and comprises a 48V battery, a small electric motor-generator, and other components.

    It will be standard on all dual-cab 4×4 SR5 and Rogue models, and optional on the dual-cab 4×4 SR.

    Toyota promises an approximately 10 per cent fuel economy improvement for “certain HiLux models” compared with the existing 2.8-litre sans electrification, as well as improved driveability and reduced noise, vibration and harshness.

    The system also allows Toyota to offer an automatic stop/start system.

    It promises, however, that there will be no impact on the ute’s capability. All models with the system will maintain a braked towing capacity of 3500kg.

    For reference, HiLux models with the 2.8-litre engine and automatic transmission currently use between 7.5 and 8.1 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.

    “We are continually striving to reduce the fuel consumption of our vehicles to help reduce on-going costs for customers, as well as helping reduce our environmental impact, and the addition of 48-Volt Technology to our biggest-selling vehicle line will contribute to this,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations.

    “This new technology will not only improve fuel consumption, but customers will also benefit from enhanced on and off-road performance, making the HiLux even more appealing for a weekend away or longer term excursion into the outback.”

    Notably, Toyota doesn’t refer to the HiLux as having gained a “hybrid” system as some automakers have done with their mild-hybrid vehicles, instead referring to it as the Toyota HiLux with 48-Volt Technology.

    That’s likely to avoid confusion with its traditional hybrids, which promise greater fuel savings and which have overtaken their traditional combustion-powered counterparts in popularity in model lines like the Camry and RAV4.

    The ute segment in Australia is still lacking a full-hybrid offering, but GWM is expected to get there first with its Shanhai Cannon due this year. Ford is also working on a plug-in hybrid Ranger.

    MORE: Everything Toyota HiLux

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers