All the new Toyotas coming to South Africa soon
The bZ4X will be the brand’s first EV, with a rally-inspired Hilux and all-new Prado also on the cards
Toyota South Africa has confirmed its first all-electric car, the bZ4X, will be launched in South Africa in 2025 as part of its drive to introduce new-energy vehicles (NEVs) that are more friendly to the planet.
Toyota is known for petrol-electric hybrids such as the Prius, Rav4 and Corolla Cross, but the bZ4X will be the first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) from SA’s most popular car brand. It will join a fast-growing local electric-car market that has grown exponentially in the past couple of years, albeit off a low base.
The bZ4X is one of a raft of soon-to-be-launched Toyota and Lexus models announced by the company in Johannesburg on Thursday at its annual state of the motor industry (Somi) address. Here’s the list:
Launched overseas in 2021, the electric SUV is the first of the bZ series, which stands for “beyond zero”. About the same size as a Rav4, the front-wheel-drive models have an estimated range of 510km and a 0—100km/h time of 7.5 seconds, while all-wheel drive models have an estimated range of 460km and 0—100km/h time in 6.9 seconds.
There is no word yet on pricing.
Land Cruiser 70 series
The rugged range of SUVs, station wagons and bakkies undergoes a revamp, including a revised exterior with retro-inspired styling with circular LED headlights, enhanced safety and cabin upgrades. In addition to the 4.5l turbo diesel V8 engine used in the current range, the newcomer will also offer the 2.8l turbodiesel used in the Hilux and Fortuner. They will also be available in automatic transmission for the first time.
The revised 70 series arrives in local showrooms in February.
Hilux and Fortuner 48V
The Hilux and Fortuner mild hybrids will arrive in March. They are powered by Toyota’s familiar 2.8l four-cylinder turbodiesel engine with outputs of 150kW and 500Nm, mated to a 48V mild hybrid system that adds another 12kW and 65Nm that improves acceleration while improving fuel efficiency by a claimed 5%.
The third-generation Hilux GR-S, arriving in March, is an off-road special with striking styling inspired by Toyota’s Dakar racer. It has a wide body and thick off-road tyres, with power from the 2.8l turbodiesel engine unchanged at 165kW and 550Nm.
Land Cruiser Prado
Launching in April, the all-new Prado has a “back to the roots” square silhouette and radically refined suspension. Powered by the 2.8l GD-6 turbodiesel engine, the large SUV will be available in TX and VX-R guises.
The first bespoke BEV from Lexus will arrive in January 2025. It shares its electric-specific e-TNGA architecture with the Toyota bZ4X. The all-wheel-drive Lexus has a claimed range of 450km on a single charge.
Toyota SA did not confirm or deny rumours that the Hilux Champ, recently launched as an affordable workhorse for the Thai market, will be available locally. The no-frills bakkie is available there in short- and long-wheelbase versions and single- and chassis-cab models. It has been rumoured that it may be revived locally under the Stallion name.
“We are looking at it. If it comes in it will be much later,” said Leon Theron, Toyota SA’s senior vice-president of sales and marketing.
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