Foton marks its entry into the Philippine market’s midsize SUV segment with their new Toplander SUV, which was launched at Foton’s “The Big Show”, held on October 2-4, 2015, at the World Trade Center.
First off, let’s get off any negativity towards China for two things. First, FIBA, and second, the territorial dispute. Gone? Good. The Foton Toplander is Foton’s effort to broaden its product appeal, as they want to expand more to casual consumers, and not just commercial users. While its underpinnings are definitely from the Foton Thunder, a compact pick-up truck, Foton made efforts to level this SUV at least on par with its Japanese siblings.
Under the hood is a 2.8 liter Cummins diesel engine. Cummins is one of America’s largest diesel engine suppliers, and lo and behold, Foton is actually its largest customer for Cummins’ smallest 2.8 liter diesel engine, selling 400,000 of these to Foton annually. The engine produces 160 hp and 360 Nm of torque. For now, it is only mated to a Getrag 5-Speed Manual, while at some point in the future, the engine will be made available with a 6-Speed Automatic from ZF.