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Toyota Prado Hybrid 2024: next-gen off-roader could have a powerful V6 petrol hybrid in its future

John Law

An all-new Toyota Prado will debut inside the next two years, but will Toyota offer its three-row, body-on-frame 4WD with a hybrid powertrain?

The next-generation Toyota Land Cruiser Prado will be with us by 2024, likely based on a modified version of the new GA-F platform created for the full-size Land Cruiser 300 Series. But what will be lurking under the bonnet?

Given the fifth-gen Prado is still two years away, that’s the million-dollar question – allowing us plenty of time to speculate about the future of one of Australia’s favourite off-roaders.

But with Toyota’s recent purple patch when it comes to new-generation product and hybrid powertrain development, you can expect the 2024 Prado to be much more than just a same-again refresh.

Toyota Prado 2021 sand dune
An all-new Land Cruiser Prado should be with us before 2024 – but what will power it?

In the meantime, Toyota will introduce a late-life update for the existing 150 Series Prado in August, modernising its active-safety systems and styling details, though this is merely a diversion from the main act – that being the first all-new Prado since 2009

Will the next Toyota Prado be a hybrid?

Japanese publication Spyder7 reported that the fifth-gen Land Cruiser Prado would use an all-new 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 184kW – the same as a Kluger 2.5-litre hybrid’s total system output – with an electric motor capable of boosting the headline power output to 294kW.

There are existing hybrid powertrains in Toyota’s stable, including the ‘iForce Max’ self-charging hybrid found in the new Tundra full-size pick-up in North America, which shares its GA-F platform architecture with the Land Cruiser 300 Series.

In combination, the Tundra Hybrid’s 3.4-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 and 36kW electric motor achieve 326kW of power and 790Nm of torque.

Toyota Tundra Limited 2022 front
Could the Prado score the Tundra’s V6 hybrid?

Fitting the Tundra’s ‘iForce Max’ powertrain would certainly differentiate the Prado from the similarly-sized, Hybrid-only Kluger/Highlander in Europe – the Prado being the largest SUV that Toyota sells on the continent – though with such huge outputs, a Tundra-engined Prado Hybrid would step on the toes of the 227kW/700Nm Land Cruiser 300 Series flagship in Australia and the Middle East.

If a twin-turbo petrol V6 hybrid does end up under the Prado’s bonnet, it will most likely be with a smaller capacity or in detuned form. That said, we still expect that Toyota will develop a smaller hybrid powertrain based around a turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the next-generation Prado and Hilux. 

What about diesel power for the Prado?

There is a possibility that the Prado’s slated 2.4-litre combustion engine will drink diesel fuel instead of petrol, and will be shared with the next-gen Hilux ute.

Speaking to Chasing Cars in mid-2021, Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley said a Hilux hybrid is “clearly a direction we would look to.”  

2022 Toyota Hilux SR5 manual ute white exterior side profile beach driving shot 2
Perhaps the new Prado will share an engine with the Hilux ute

Given the Hilux ute’s recent history as an almost-exclusively diesel-powered vehicle, it is possible the newly-developed hybrid could be based around a diesel powertrain, though that doesn’t appear likely given Toyota’s current product development. 

Diesel engines do tend to be more fuel efficient and boast longer range capability with lower CO2 figures – which is why they make sense for big utes and 4WDs – though greater NOx and particulate emissions produced by burning diesel are harmful to humans.

That means that over the next decade, Toyota will likely transition to petrol-electric hybrid powertrains as a replacement for large-capacity diesel engines in 4WD vehicles such as the Prado and Land Cruiser rather than investing in new diesel-electric technology. 

Concurrent with development on hybrid powertrains for larger vehicles, Toyota will continue transitioning its passenger cars – and the occasional retro FJ Cruiser-esque SUV – to battery-electric power. 

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 2022: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • GX five-seat auto: $60,830
  • GX seven-seat auto: $63,380
  • GXL seven-seat auto: $67,530
  • GXL Premium seven-seat auto: $71,000
  • VX seven-seat auto: $77,157
  • Kakadu seven-seat auto: $87,807