In May this year Toyota took the wraps off the all-new Hilux. Mixed sentiments came from you, dear readers, with some appreciating the radical styling and others deeming it downright ugly.
Today the automaker released official images of the Fortuner – and it is bound to divide opinion. It is interesting that Toyota decided against playing it safe with a model that accounts for such a sizable chunk of its monthly sales pie.
Toyota dubbed their new styling philosophy “Solid Fluidity” and the aim here was to create something that looks tough as well as sophisticated. There are a number of cues setting it apart from the bakkie sibling. They sought to bring greater differentiation from the Hilux. Inside the theme is said to exude the toughness of an SUV with the elegance of a premium sedan. Faux leather clads certain parts of the dashboard, soft touch plastics abound and chrome detailing is sprinkled around the cabin. There will be more in the way of infotainment too, with a tablet-like interface thrown into the mix. Other conveniences include keyless-entry and 15 storage compartments littered throughout the cabin.
Measures were also taken to make the Fortuner more pleasant on tarmac. Underneath an all-new frame does duty, with a redesigned suspension optimised for greater comfort. An additional stabiliser was installed for improved composure. Exact engine details are yet to be announced, but you can expect Toyota’s new diesel variants in 2.4-litre and 2.8-litre guises. A new six-speed automatic transmission will also feature. But even though they say it has been geared towards a plusher on-road character, Toyota is still adamant that it maintains authentic off-road ability.
The new Toyota Fortuner arrives in South Africa in the second quarter of 2016. Prices and specifications will be announced closer to launch.