According to a report by Drive, the upcoming Toyota Hilux with a 48-volt electrical system will not feature the term ‘mild hybrid’ or the word ‘hybrid’ in its marketing material. Instead, the 48-volt electrical system could be dubbed ‘Toyota Kinetic Assist’ based on a recent trademark filing spotted by the Australian automotive news portal.
During a media briefing in Australia, Toyota executives said the “mild hybrid” system for the Hilux is largely an expanded vehicle electrical system and lacks the electric driving capabilities to be labelled a hybrid, unlike the Prius. Curiously, the Hilux MHEV (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle) concept that was at this year’s WRC Safari Rally in Kenya had ‘HYBRID’ on its body.
“Most of you have called it a mild hybrid. We don’t, and there’s a reason we don’t. In the Toyota world, hybrid refers to a system where the engine and the electric motor can both propel the vehicle either together or independently. That’s not the case with the electric motor for the 48-volt system,” said Toyota Australia sales and marketing boss Sean Hanley.
As announced by Toyota previously, the 48-volt system for the Hilux consists of a battery, small electric motor-generator and other supporting components. These will be applied to the existing 2.8 turbodiesel four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission to improve fuel economy by approximately 10%, while preserving existing capabilities – the Fortuner is also slated to get this electrified powertrain.
“It (the 48-volt system) can power the car’s steering, pump and fans, and it supports the fuel-saving stop/start operation, keeping the electrics firing and handling the load of the climate control,” explained Hanley.
“The system recharges while you’re driving, recovering and storing kinetic energy from braking, and it facilitates smoother and quicker start and take off once the brake pedal is released [for the stop/start system],” he added.
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