Toyota has started work on the next generation Fortuner SUV, which is slated to go on sale in India sometime in 2016. This computer sketch, prepared by our artist, Shoeb, gives an early look at the next generation Hilux-based SUV.
Indian Autos Blog learns that the new Fortuner will not move to a monocoque chassis, but will instead retain a ladder-frame setup. Customer feedback has indicated that the ruggedness of the ladder-frame chassis is preferred, and hence Toyota does not want to upset its Hilux/Fortuner enthusiasts by shifting to a monocoque setup.
The Fortuner is currently the sales leader in its segment and accounts for about 15 percent of Toyota Kirloskar Motor's (TKM) domestic sales. In the first four months of this year, TKM sold 4,920 units of the SUV, while the closest competitor, the Hyundai Santa Fe, saw sales of only 509 units in the same period. A TKM senior official recently said that the company will focus more on the premium segment given that more profits are made per car sold.
Until the new Fortuner is launched, Toyota India will maintain sales momentum of the current model by introducing new variants. One variant, which sees the introduction of the Innova's 2.5-liter diesel engine, would be the new entry-level model, while the other variant, powered by a 3.0-liter diesel engine mated to an automatic transmission with 4WD capability, becomes the new range-topper.