Brian Joss –
The all-new Toyota Fortuner made its much-anticipated global debut, with “cool new styling, an additional helping of luxury features and a refined drive, while still epitomising strength and genuine all-terrain capability”, this week.
The SUV derivative of Hilux began life in 1998 with the introduction of the Hilux Sport Rider which was built in Thailand and initially sold only in selected Southeast Asian countries. In 2005, however, this model went global (selling in 110 countries and produced in 11), started distancing itself stylistically from its Hilux stablemate and became known as Fortuner.
Appropriately the newborn Fortuner went on sale in Thailand and it will make its South African debut next year.
According to Calvyn Hamman, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Toyota South Africa Motors, the brief was simple: “Design a Fortuner than can compete in terms of style and aesthetics while staying true to its authentic SUV characteristics and genuine 4WD performance.”
The completely redesigned Fortuner enhances driving confidence on every level and in the process, sets a new standard for Sport Utility Vehicles by excelling in four areas: design,
utility and luxury, performance and safety.
Innovative touches (model dependent) include a tablet-inspired multi-media, touch-screen display that allows easy operation of functions, a smart entry and start system, an electronic 4WD switch and second-row seats with one-touch operation for ease of folding.
Newly developed 2.4- and 2.8-litre diesels are highlights of the new Fortuner engine range, supplementing the petrol variants (details to be disclosed closer to launch). Low-speed torque has been greatly improved. In addition to achieving higher power at all engine speeds, the new units boast improved fuel efficiency and cruising range as well as reduced engine noise.
Propping up these efficient powerplants are the newly developed six-speed automatic transmissions with more steps and optimised gear ratios to maximise engine performance. As with new Hilux, stick-shift Fortuners are equipped with the Intelligent Manual Transmission system (i-MT) supporting smooth shifting with rev matching technology.