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Frankfurt show: No plan for Toyota LandCruiser hybrid

Remote possibility: For now the only reason to include lithium-ion batteries and electric motors on a Toyota LandCruiser would be to power the camping fridge and drive a recovery winch.

Toyota hybrid tech not mature enough to guarantee LandCruiser levels of reliability

Toyota logo15 Sep 2017

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI in FRANKFURT

IT MAY be 20 years since the first Toyota Prius pioneered a route toward widespread vehicle electrification, but the technology is not yet considered mature enough to be deployed in a LandCruiser and maintain the nameplate’s reputation for unburstable off-road reliability.

Toyota now offers seven hybrid drivetrains and has sold 11 million petrol-electric vehicles around the world. Under its Toyota Environmental Challenge program established in 2015, the Japanese giant has a goal of reducing vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 per cent by 2050 compared with its 2010 baseline.

But LandCruiser chief engineer Sadayoshi Koyari told GoAuto at this week’s Frankfurt motor show that while Toyota has an emphasis on hybrid and other emissions-reduction technologies, reliability remained paramount for the LandCruiser range.

“We need a technology which is really reliable even in the hardest environmental conditions,” he said.

“If we will have one day a technology – hybrid technology or whatever – which is reliable enough that we can say, ‘OK we will implement that into a LandCruiser,’ I would not say no.”

As it stands, those looking for a bit of hybrid-boosted extra tank range to get them between fuel stops on the Canning Stock Route or Simpson Desert are likely in for a long wait.

“Right at the moment, hybrid technology is not that mature that we would say it is reliable enough to let the LandCruiser drive with a hybrid system in the desert,” concluded Koyari-san.

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