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Will There Be A Toyota HiLux Hybrid In 2021?

Manufacturers  ·  January 26, 2021

Will There Be A Toyota HiLux Hybrid In 2021?

When Toyota's sales and marketing VP in Australia Sean Hanley mentioned the Toyota HiLux hybrid ute back in 2019, there was not as much of a suggestion that it would come soon enough. The only assurance he gave was that the delivery of the first hybrid HiLux was not a matter of if but rather when.

Will It Be a Diesel Hybrid HiLux?

In August last year, Hanley disclosed that the aim was to have all Toyota HiLux vehicles incorporated with electrification progressively. He further suggested that the manufacturer would possibly develop diesel hybrid utes despite their historical bias towards petrol-electric hybrids. Diesel-electric hybrids seem desirable to a market that has already taken up many of Toyota's diesel utes in the past. 

Despite Hanley's prediction that it'd take at least 2023 to see it happen, contrary reports of a hybrid Hilux hitting the roads sooner have surfaced. 

NZ Pegs Hybrid Hilux’s Arrival this Year, Will Australia Be Next? 

Toyota New Zealand's chief executive said they expected a mild-hybrid version of the workhorse ute in New Zealand before the close of the year. While no mention was made about the Australian market, it wasn’t ruled out either. 

The absence of Australia-specific info gave the hopeful notion that Toyota Australia might also release the HiLux hybrid soon. And why not? Toyota already has a good precedent of selling hybrid automobiles in the country. The market seems ready and eager for the hybrid ute, judging from the success of hybrid vehicles the company has produced in the past. 

The Corolla, Camry, CH-R, and RAV4 hybrids have been the best sellers that have put Toyota at the peak of production and sales of hybrids in the country. 

It was not confirmed whether the automaker would pair the hybrid model with a diesel engine or create a petrol hybrid synonymous with Toyota cars. The buzz around the development of a HiLux hybrid has remained highly undisclosed.  

In his past remarks, Hanley has not rejected the idea of bringing the ute to Australia. He said that people in rural areas would possibly be much more receptive of alternative fuel sources, adding that the company will create a HiLux that will satisfy their requirements. The VP further observed about the need to reduce carbon emissions, supporting his earlier pronouncement.

Hanley suggested that FCAI’s move to manage emissions might accelerate the plan to bring the hybrid HiLux to the market. 

So Is the Toyota HiLux Hybrid Coming Out This Year?

Apart from the suggestive announcements, there is a general lack of clarity on the HiLux Hybrid's entry into the Aussie market this year. Why is this so? 

First, the current generation is halfway in life, and it still has up to 2024 before the next generation hits the market. While it is confirmed that the next generation will have hybrid HiLux variants, there is still uncertainty about hybrids in the current generation. 

Even VP Hanley was contradictory in his statements. In 2019, he suggested that it would be unlikely that the change into hybrid powertrain HiLux vehicles could take place while this generation is yet to reach its end. However, he also said that the company was already looking towards making inroads into their production. 

So, market changes could influence how soon Toyota finds it necessary to give us their first hybrid HiLux. The development of a HiLux hybrid for the Australian market should be a no brainer, especially for Toyota – at least from our perspective.

While there may not be an exact date plastered on it, sales from last year indicate that the manufacturer's hybrid vehicles have been in high demand. The demand will keep on rising, and going by Hanley's words, we should expect the hybrid HiLux before the next generation of HiLux vehicles.

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