India’s best selling luxury SUV, the Toyota Fortuner, is likely to see not one but two new variants during this year’s festive season. While word about the new Fortuner SUV variants isn’t new, the Diwali launch timeline for the new variants is a new development. Toyota Kirloskar Motors Limited is expected to launch an entry-level variant of the Fortuner with a smaller, 2.5 liter-4 cylinder turbo diesel engine and a new-top end variant, which will add an automatic gearbox to the four wheel drive equipped model.
The entry-level engined Fortuner will make the SUV cheaper, appealing to a larger set of customers while the top-end automatic variant seeks to marry the convenience of an automatic gearbox with the go-anywhere ability of the Fortuner 4WD. Currently, the Fortuner features a 3 liter-4 cylinder D-4D turbo diesel engine that outputs 168 Bhp of peak power and 343 Nm of peak torque. The smaller, 2.5 liter D-4D motor will feature a lower power output of 143 Bhp, while its torque output of 343 Nm will remain similar to the larger engined model.
A smaller diesel engine, coupled to a rear wheel drive layout will make the Fortuner lighter and more fuel efficient. Expect the price of the entry-level Fortuner to start at 21 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi. The Fortuner is currently available with 5 speed manual and automatic transmissions. However, the automatic transmission option is available only on the rear wheel driven variant of the SUV. By adding the automatic transmission option to the four wheel drive variant of the Fortuner, Toyota will give top end Fortuner buyers an added shot of convenience.
Toyota is working on the second generation version of the Fortuner SUV, which will debut here in 2016. The all-new Fortuner has hit the test circuit at Thailand and the SUV will use the same platform as the next-generation Hilux pick up truck. While the new Fortuner will continue using a ladder frame chassis, the IMV platform will adopt the Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA) that will reduce weight and improve parts sharing levels between different Toyota vehicles.