What is Toyota V-Active Technology

Though the latter is how most manufacturers would describe an updated model with 48-volt electrical architecture, a stop-start system and integrated motor generator that can recover wasted energy, Toyota will not call the new machine a hybrid of any sort.

Instead, the automotive giant has named its fuel-saving machine the Toyota HiLux with V-Active Technology.

Though it sounds like a fresh branch of Richard Branson’s fitness franchise, the tech primarily comprises of a powerful stop-start system and beefed up electrical hardware that can shoulder some of the load when driving.

Toyota says the HiLux with V-Active technology idles at lower revs than the outgoing model, making it smoother and quieter than before.

The electric motor makes it possible to shut off the engine for longer than conventional stop-start systems. It stores energy when braking, and provides a performance boost when accelerating.

Toyota says the system reduces fuel consumption by about 10 per cent. It has not published power or torque figures for the updated engine.

An electric motor that helps a combustion engine save fuel while providing power assistance sounds a whole lot like a mild hybrid to us, but Toyota doesn’t want customers to mistake it for a proper hybrid with a dedicated battery and larger electric motor – the sort of combination found in a Toyota RAV4 or the new Toyota Tundra.

The changes come after Toyota temporarily paused production of HiLux motors in Japan after an investigation found irregularities in engine software.

They also arrive as car makers grapple with proposed efficiency standards that would fine manufacturers for selling cars that use too much fuel.

HiLux models equipped with V-Active Technology benefit from Toyota’s Multi Terrain Select System that allows drivers to choose from various driving modes tailored to rocky, sandy, muddy and snowy environments.

The tech is standard on automatic HiLux SR5 and Rogue variants, which have increased in price by just $770 for popular dual-cab body styles.

That’s a modest increase for a fairly major upgrade. Dual cab models also deliver a new hydraulically dampened tailgate to provide easier access to the tray.

Cheaper HiLux SR models offer the hybrid assistance and new driving modes as a $1605 option that also brings dual-zone climate control, smart keys and auto up-down windows.

The updated HiLux also benefits from revised styling including a new bumper and grille.

Toyota Australia vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations, Sean Hanley, says the upgrades are worthwhile.

“The introduction of V-Active Technology for HiLux is yet another step as we continue to refine and improve the efficiency and performance of our range and we wanted to ensure it remained a great value proposition for our customers,” he says.

“With minimal price increases, we believe we have achieved that especially when you factor in the additional equipment and refreshed styling that will ensure HiLux will continue to appeal to a broad set of customers.”

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