Everything is going the electrified route these days and Toyota is now applying that technology to the Hilux. The popular pickup is going to receive 48-volt mild-hybrid technology in 2024, and to see how the system performs, the electrified Toyota Hilux mild hybrid went rallying at Kasarani during the seventh round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) in Kenya.
The Hilux mild hybrid concept was driven by four-time WRC champion and former Toyota world title winner Juha Kankkunen from Finland, with co-driver Jimmi Gathu, a renowned local Kenyan media personality, and actor. The company showcased its clear stance to deliver diverse vehicle ranges on its journey towards carbon neutrality.
After the demonstration, Juha Kankkunen said “I’m 100% sure that this type of car will fit in Africa very well because there are still long-distance drives and it’s very difficult to charge electric cars. You can save fuel, which means less CO2. Africa is a good market for this kind of car, and you can make CO2 less with hybrid cars. That is the future.“
“I have had the pleasure of driving different models for the Toyota brand from full electric car, hybrid, and hydrogen and can attest that these models are much faster than standard models.”, he said.
Jimmi Gathu excitingly gave his impression, saying “It was an amazing experience. It’s fantastic that Kenya’s most popular, most reliable, toughest car is being tested as a concept car for hybrid especially in addressing the issue around carbon emissions, beginning with small steps as you seek to achieve carbon neutrality I think it’s perfect.”
Toyota Australia’s Vice President for Sales, Marketing, and Franchise Operations Sean Hanley said that the 48-volt mild hybrid technology will improve the Hilux’s driveability and make this vehicle even more appealing to customers. At the same time, customers can expect a 10 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the non-electrified 2.8-liter currently fitted to today’s models.
“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,” Mr. Hanley said.
“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,” he said.