The 2016 Toyota Fortuner — the company’s new-generation HiLux-based SUV — appears to have been captured sans disguise in Thailand ahead of its expected world premiere next week.
If these images — which we’ve sourced Top Gear Philippines and Ferd — are legit, then it appears the Fortuner will get a sleeker set of headlights and a very different V-shaped grille, to differentiate itself from its ute sibling.
It also appears to receive a distinctive kinked window line around the C-pillar, as well as a slim set of tail-lights and a notable roof spoiler.
Meanwhile, we’ve also seen an image purported to be of the Fortuner’s cabin (see below). Based on this, Toyota appears to have embedded the central touchscreen between two vertical buttresses, standing in contrast to the floating design in the HiLux.
The image here shows different air vents and ventilation controls, though this could be simply a Thai-market thing.
These images follow the disguised snaps we brought you earlier, courtesy of Headlight Magazine in Thailand, which showed the SUV in transit ahead of the reveal which that publication claimed will occur on July 16.
As we know, the all-new Fortuner has been confirmed for Australia this time around, where it will likely slot in between the RAV4 and Prado models and rival the new Ford Everest, as well as the likes of the Isuzu MU-X and forthcoming next-generation Mitsubishi Challenger due to premiere in Thailand on August 1.
The mainstay of the range is expected to be Toyota’s new 2.8-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder HiLux engine producing 130kW of power and 450Nm of torque when fitted with the optional six-speed automatic. Global reports suggest the Fortuner won’t come with a manual gearbox option in this spec (in the new HiLux, that configuration sees torque drop to 420Nm).
Underneath, the Fortuner has been tuned by Toyota’s local engineers for our conditions, as well as the rest of the world’s.
In 2013 CarAdvice brought you the exclusive story that the Toyota Technical Centre Australia (TTC-AU) was responsible for designing and engineering the new Fortuner not just for the global market, but also Australia.
TTC-AU president Max Gillard said at the time that the Melbourne-based technical centre was spending “almost 50.0 per cent” of its resources on the second-generation Fortuner.
“We have design [and engineering] responsibilities for the Fortuner, the SUV HiLux,” confirmed Gillard in November 2013.
“That’s a very big project for us because that’s for Asia, India, South Africa, South America…”
Stay tuned for more official info on the Fortuner soon.
A new photo of the Fortuner in a revealing shade of white has been published this week.