Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) is planning to launch a face-lifted version of the Fortuner. The present Fortuner had turned out to be a winner for Toyota and its refreshed version is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2012.
The company has affirmed that it will only launch a facelift and not an all new model.
“Toyota has no plans of launching any new cars for next two years, but you will see face-lifted versions of current model,” Sandeep Singh, Deputy MD, TKM said during the launch of the Toyota Etios Liva.
The Fortuner is the segment leader in the Indian SUV market. In May 2011, Toyota sold 672 units of the Fortuner while BMW sold 190 units of the X1. In the same period Ford sold 172 units of Endeavour and Hyundai sold 122 units of the Santa Fe. Read SUV sales story here.
To strengthen its leadership position in the segment, Toyota is seeking to revamp the Fortuner and package it with more frills. Let’s look at the changes planned.
The upcoming Toyota Fortuner will carry forward the present models size and proportions but is not expected to have any mechanical changes. It will have a redesigned front with thick horizontal chrome slats on the grille which now resembles the front of the formidable Land Cruiser.
The bonnet will get a large air scoop at the centre which will allow the healthy 3,000cc engine breathe in the worst of conditions. This may however be just a cosmetic hood scoop used to enhance visual appeal.
The Fortuner’s front bumper will also be revamped to give the car a more muscular look.
At the rear, the tail lamp cluster will get a clear lens treatment. The chrome slat on the boot lid will be carried forward in the new model as well. The rear bumpers too have been mildly tweaked and have more muscular lines.
Toyota may also improve the interiors of the upcoming Fortuner to give it a plusher and up-market appearance and feel. There will be no changes under the hood and the face-lifted Fortuner will retain the present models 3.0 litre diesel engine.
The Toyota Fortuner continues to attract customers even though the vehicle has existed in the market for almost 2 years now. The Fortuner has been a clear winner in sales despite the introduction of new models such as the BMW X1 (which is more premium thanks to its pedigree) and the Hyundai Santa Fe during December 2010.
The new Fortuner will likely help Toyota sustain its sales and further its continued leadership in the segment.