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Toyota rules out hybrid Kluger for Oz

Electric dream: Australian Kluger customers hoping to reduce thirst with a petrol-electric version will have to wait as Toyota is sitting on its hands.

No petrol-electric variant of next-gen Toyota Kluger in Australia

Toyota logo22 Mar 2013

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

TOYOTA has poured cold water over the possibility of bringing a petrol-electric hybrid version of the third-generation Kluger SUV to Australia when it launches here next year.

A diesel option has also been ruled out for Toyota’s seven-seat family wagon, the new version of which will be sourced for Australia from the US rather than Japan.

Toyota Australia product public relations manager Steve Coughlan confirmed to GoAuto there will be no hybrid or diesel Kluger but said it was too early to comment further on the new model’s specifications.

The Japanese giant’s Australian arm has previously stated its aim to have a hybrid in every segment in the next decade – but seems content to stick with the Prius small hatch, Prius C light car, Prius V people-mover and Camry Hybrid mid-size sedan for now.

In markets such as North America and Japan Toyota sells a hybrid version of the current generation Kluger, combining a 3.5-litre petrol V6 with front and rear electric motors to provide all-wheel drive and a combined 209kW of power.

A front-drive 2.7-litre four-cylinder variant is also offered in some markets and uses 9.4 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway, compared with 8.4L/100km for the hybrid.

The four-cylinder is only 0.4L/100km more efficient than front-drive Klugers powered by the more powerful 3.5-litre V6 familiar to Australian customers.

The new Kluger presents Toyota with the opportunity to offer a more efficient four-cylinder entry-level engine but drivetrain details will not be confirmed until the car’s official unveiling at the New York motor show next week.

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