2016 Toyota Fortuner SUV spotted in Thailand ahead of Australian unveiling
The all-new Fortuner has been confirmed to make its international debut at simultaneous unveilings in Bangkok, Thailand, and Sydney, Australia, the same way the new HiLux was unveiled last month.
The reason it is being shown here is that the seven-seater has been confirmed for the local market, where it will likely slot in between the RAV4 and Prado models. These images from Headlight Magazine in Thailand show the SUV in transit.
The Fortuner is to the HiLux what the Holden Colorado 7 is to the Colorado ute. Likewise, the Isuzu MU-X is the wagon-body version of the D-Max, the new-generation Mitsubishi Challenger is the family-focused version of the Triton, and the new Ford Everest is a similar take on the Ranger ute, albeit with a considerably higher premium than most of the other ute-based SUVs.
As it’s based on the HiLux, buyers can expect similar drivetrains to be offered – though nothing is confirmed just yet.
The mainstay of the range is expected to be a 2.8-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine producing 130kW of power and 450Nm of torque when fitted with the optional six-speed automatic. Global reports suggest the Fortuner won’t come with a manual gearbox option in this spec (in the HiLux, that configuration sees torque drop to 420Nm).
A second diesel could also be offered in the form of a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel with 110kW/400Nm (dropping to 343Nm if matched to a five-speed manual gearbox rather than a six-speed auto). This is expected to be offered only as a rear-wheel drive entry model.
Petrol models may include a 2.7-litre petrol with 127kW of power, while a larger 4.0-litre V6 petrol with 207kW could also be made available – though reports suggest the 2.7-litre will be the biggest petrol engine available.
In terms of styling, it appears from these images that the new Fortuner will boast a very different design to the HiLux. Where the HiLux has squared-off headlights and a more upright grille, a glance through the thin camouflage on these vehicles indicates the Fortuner will have sharper, thinner lights and a more rounded grille.
The rear (obviously!) has seen big changes, too. There’s no tray – instead the backside of the car has been built out with a sharp window line and, in the top image at least, a very big roof-top spoiler.
Underneath, the Fortuner has been tuned by Toyota’s local engineers for our conditions, as well as the rest of the world’s.
In 2013 CarAdvice brought you the exclusive story that the Toyota Technical Centre Australia (TTC-AU) was responsible for designing and engineering the new Fortuner not just for the global market, but also Australia.
TTC-AU president Max Gillard said at the time that the Melbourne-based technical centre was spending “almost 50.0 per cent” of its resources on the second-generation Fortuner.
“We have design [and engineering] responsibilities for the Fortuner, the SUV HiLux,” confirmed Gillard in November 2013.
“That’s a very big project for us because that’s for Asia, India, South Africa, South America…”
Stay tuned for more on the Toyota Fortuner live from the reveal of the new model on July 16.
As for the interior, buyers can expect a different dashboard to the HiLux. It’s not clear whether the airbag protection on offer will extend to the third row or not, but seven airbags will be standard (dual front, front side, curtain and driver’s knee) as well as a range of other safety systems such as stability control, and possibly hill ascent and descent control.
Other things buyers can expect include 18-inch alloy wheels and smart key with push-button start.