The third generation Toyota Fortuner is likely to make its global debut towards the end of next year while launch in India could happen in 2023
Toyota Fortuner has been the best-selling premium seven-seater SUV in India for over a decade now. First launched in India back in 2009, the ladder-on-frame SUV got a generation update seven years later. For the longest time, the Japanese carmaker had to compete with a sole rival in the D-segment in the form of Endeavour.
However, with new competent rivals in the form of MG Gloster and more offerings such as the Jeep H6 SUV in the pipeline, Toyota cannot breathe easy. Additionally, its long arch-nemesis from America- Endeavour is also getting a generation update next year.
Reports suggest that the company has already started developing a new-gen Fortuner even though it got a comprehensive mid-life facelift last year. Now, a Toyota Fortuner test mule has been spied in Thailand. Fortuner has a very strong consumer base in the South East Asian country and is most probably being developed there.
Similar Exterior Design
From the looks of it, the shape and silhouette of the test mule spotted are very similar to the current model. This suggests that the upcoming new-gen Fortuner is likely to see more updates underneath its skin rather than on its surface. The design of the three-row SUV is likely to remain largely unaltered with minute styling variations over its predecessor. Upfront, the SUV gets a wider air intake similar to Fortuner Legender.
New GR Sport Trim?
Interestingly, the front tyres are seen wearing red brake callipers which also indicates that it could very well be just a sportier trim of the current-gen Fortuner. With Toyota expanding its Gazoo Racing (GR) range, it could launch a new top-spec GR Sport trim of the premium SUV too.
However, this looks unlikely since the GR range is specifically developed for the western markets and for those seeking extreme track-like performance. In both conditions, Fortuner doesn’t fit the bill.
The biggest update we are likely to see in the upcoming Fortuner are new hybrid powertrains. Toyota is one carmaker which despite the strict emission norms is unwilling to let go of its diesel engines. We had earlier reported that the 2.4-litre and 2.8-litre oil burners offered in Fortuner will be equipped with new hybrid technology. This will not only help the automaker beat stiff emission norms but also likely improve the SUV’s performance and mileage to some extent.
The current-gen Fortuner in India is offered in two trims- Standard and Legender. The Standard trim is offered in petrol and diesel as well as 2WD and 4WD options. Whereas the Legender trim is offered with a diesel powertrain mated to an automatic gearbox in 2WD configuration only. While the 2.7-litre petrol unit churns out 164 bhp and 245 Nm of peak torque, the 2.8-litre diesel motor cranks out 201 bhp and 500 Nm of peak torque.