The next-gen Toyota Fortuner is expected to go on sale in India next year and it will likely get a diesel hybrid powertrain, electronic power steering, etc
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has the Fortuner and Innova Crysta as two of its best-selling models dominating their respective segments for many years. The Innova is getting a major upgrade as it switches to a new generation later this year based on a new monocoque platform while an all-new Fortuner has also been on the rumour mill.
The second-generation Fortuner is on sale in the global markets since 2015 and it entered India in 2016 to sustain the leadership of the old model. The third-gen Fortuner will likely go on sale in markets like Thailand before reaching India. The basic silhouette of the Fortuner with tall pillars enabling a large greenhouse could remain as the exterior changes could be nothing more than minor cosmetic changes.
Apart from the swooping bonnet, the sharp-looking headlamps, fog lamp section and grille could receive minor alterations. The rear with integrated spoiler, shark fin antenna, wraparound tail lamps and the tailgate might continue with minor updates. The full-size SUV competes against MG Gloster, Isuzu MU-X, Mahindra Alturas G4, recently launched Jeep Meridian, VW Tiguan and Skoda Kodiaq in India.
The existing model sits on the same iMV platform as the Innova Crysta and Hilux. As the MPV moves to the traditional FWD layout courtesy of the TNGA-B platform, it is yet unknown what the Fortuner would make out of it but the ladder frame chassis will likely continue due to the advantages provided for off-roading.
Previous reports suggest that it will undergo mechanical changes along with the addition of new features and tech. The hydraulic power steering in the Fortuner will be ditched in favour of a new Electric Power Steering for easier drive and it asks for a major change in the electronic platform. It will also boast an improved electronically-controlled VSC (Vehicle Stability Control).
The Fortuner is already sold with assistive tech like active cruise control, pre-collision warning, lane departure warning, etc globally. We can expect the third generation to get such technology in India as well and it might drive the costs up further along with a panoramic sunroof. The Toyota Safety Sense suite is also expected to get new additions in response to the growing competition.
Another big update will be the presence of a diesel hybrid powertrain utilising an integrated starter generator tech to improve overall efficiency and to stick by the stringent emission regulations. We can expect the next-gen Fortuner to be launched next year in India and it will be preceded by the heavily updated Glanza, new-gen Innova and the all-new midsize SUV developed in collaboration with Maruti Suzuki.