Ever since it was launched over a decade ago, the Toyota Fortuner has been India’s best selling SUV, and has been available with a single body style – a 5 door vehicle with 7 seats. What if Toyota were to come up with a short wheelbase version of India’s most popular luxury SUV, transforming it into a lifestyle 4X4 in the process? Well, here’s a speculative render that shows what a 3-door Toyota Fortuner 4X4 off-road SUV would look like.
As the render indicates, the three door version of the Toyota Fortuner with a short wheelbase and a 4X4 transfer case looks like a truncated version of the 5-door SUV. In markets abroad, we’ve had such vehicles. The 3 door, short wheelbase version of the Mitsubishi Pajero was once sold in many international markets, and was quite a popular vehicle. Closer home, we’ve seen the reverse of this: 3-door 4X4 SUVs growing larger, and spawning 5 door versions.
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Once such vehicle is the Force Gurkha, which was initially introduced as a 3-door short wheelbase model, and will soon get a new, 5 door long wheelbase version. A similar story is playing out with the Mahindra Thar, which is currently available only as a short wheelbase vehicle. A long wheelbase version of the Mahindra Thar 4X4 is all set for a launch next year, and has been spotted testing on Indian roads numerous times.
Coming back to the 3-door Fortuner 4X4, it’s very unlikely that Toyota would ever consider such a model. For those who want a off-road oriented Fortuner, there’s the Hilux pick-up truck that combines great off road prowess, a large utilitarian loading bed, and luxurious interiors. So, building a dedicated 3 door, short wheelbase Fortuner just doesn’t make sense as the market in India is too small for such lifestyle vehicles.
As things stand today, the Toyota Fortuner sold in India is offered with two engine options: a 2.7 liter-4 cylinder naturally aspirated petrol with 164 Bhp-245 Nm and a 2.8 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged diesel engine with outputs ranging between 201 Bhp-420 Nm to 201 Bhp-500 Nm. While the petrol engine is offered with 5 speed manual and 6 speed torque converter automatic gearboxes and a rear wheel drive layout as standard, the diesel engine gets 6 speed manual and torque converter automatic gearboxes. The Fortuner Diesel can be purchased either as rear wheel drive or four wheel drive SUV. Prices of the Toyota Fortuner start from Rs. 32.6 lakh for the entry-level petrol manual trim to Rs. 50.34 lakh for the top-of-the-line diesel model.
All-new Fortuner in the works!
Toyota is working on an all-new Fortuner SUV, one that could completely ditch the turbo diesel engine in favour of a petrol-electric strong hybrid powertrain. The all-new Fortuner is expected to arrive globally sometime in 2023, after which it’ll be launched in India as well. The petrol strong hybrid Fortuner will continue to offer a four wheel drive layout. It’s likely to be more fuel efficient than the diesel model, with lower running costs and higher refinement levels. A manual gearbox is unlikely to be offered with the next-gen Fortuner.
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