Toyota is expanding its hybrid offerings to include a mild hybrid diesel powertrain for SUVs and pickup trucks. This move is in line with Toyota’s commitment to providing diverse powertrain options.
The automaker recently shared a video showcasing a 48-volt mild hybrid system designed for its turbodiesel engines, with initial adopters being the Hilux and Land Cruiser Prado. The Fortuner is also expected to benefit from this mild hybrid technology.
The Land Cruiser Prado’s 1GD-FTV 2.8-liter inline-four turbodiesel engine in Western Europe and Australia will feature a 48-volt mild hybrid system. This same engine powers the Hilux and Fortuner, and Toyota claims it will offer a 10% improvement in fuel economy
Toyota’s mild hybrid system utilizes a belt-driven electric motor generator to replace the alternator, a 48-volt battery, and a DC-DC converter. It’s worth noting that this mild hybrid system differs from Toyota’s Hybrid System II (THS II), which employs two motor-generators and a power split device. The mild hybrid unit is designed to be compact and lightweight and can be integrated into existing powertrains.
One of the advantages of this system is that the belt-driven electric motor generator provides more torque compared to gear-driven starters. Additionally, Toyota claims the mild hybrid technology allows for silent engine starts with smooth response and minimal vibrations when utilizing the stop/start feature. The electric motor can provide torque assistance when needed, and regenerative braking helps recharge the battery, providing power for steering, pumps, and fans.
Given that this mild hybrid system will primarily be used in off-road vehicles, it features strengthened and waterproof components to handle water wading. This involves strategic placement of the mild hybrid components within the cabin and the use of a high-strength ribbed belt to reduce friction when submerged in water. Toyota asserts that vehicles like the Hilux, Land Cruiser Prado, and Fortuner equipped with this system can wade through water up to 700 mm deep. However, the launch date for this new hybridized diesel powertrain has not yet been announced.