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Toyota Hilux hybrid: late 2023 upgrade could electrify Australia’s best selling ute


Despite facing challenges with supply in 2023, Toyota is set to reveal much more for its popular Hilux ute, including possible electrification  

Toyota Australia is set to bring more updates to its Hilux range in 2023, despite its concerns over supply. 

While the already announced Hilux GR Sport will land in Australia during the third quarter of 2023, Toyota’s vice president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, said there is much more coming. 

“Beyond that (the GR Sport), we will have more action on Hilux in H2 (second half of 2023). Our goal always is to address market opportunities and customer needs with Hilux. At some point, that will include a form of electrification.

2023 Toyota Hilux GR Sport rear 3/4
The 2023 Toyota Hilux GR Sport

“What we have made clear regarding electrification is that Toyota is committed to bringing BEVs to Australia,” he said. 

Hanley also added that Toyota would look at its commercial vehicle space “between now and 2030”, hinting yet again that a Hilux with partial electric underpinnings could be in development at Toyota HQ. 

We can expect more updates about Hilux in Australia around the middle of 2023.

Toyota Hilux Rogue 2022 front
Toyota also recently updated its Hilux Rogue variant

What could an electrified Hilux look like in Australia?

Rather than introducing an entirely new powertrain, an electrified Toyota Hilux could use the same 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine currently used in the range, if in a mild-hybrid application. 

This could be a similar version to the I-Force Max system used in the Toyota Tundra that features an electric motor within the bellhousing of the transmission. Unlike other hybrid Toyotas, the Tundra’s system is a parallel (rather than series-parallel) design.  

Toyota Tundra 2023 on the road
The Toyota Tundra is currently in development for Australia

In this Tundra application, the I-Force Max system produces an additional 36kW of power and 250Nm of torque. There is a small battery onboard, too, with a capacity of 1.87kWh. 

If a similar Toyota mild-hybrid system were to be fitted to the current Toyota Hilux, outputs could be lifted from the current 150kW/500Nm to around 185kW/750Nm.