Toyota registers a new name to avoid the use of ‘mild-hybrid’

A trademark filing has revealed that Toyota may have come up with a new name to avoid the use of the term ‘mild-hybrid’ on the updated HiLux due to launch early next year.

Toyota Australia appears to be doing its best to avoid using the word “hybrid” to describe an impending update to its best-selling model. hellolux ute

just a few days later Toyota announced plans for presents a mild hybrid HiLux from 2024 – conspicuously no mention of the word ‘hybrid’ in the press release – a trademark application for the term Toyota Kinetic Assist has been discovered by Drive.

The Japanese auto giant seems to be trying to avoid comparisons with its gasoline hybrid cars, such as the Prius and Camry Hybrid, which typically offer much better fuel economy and emissions reductions compared to so-called “mild hybrid” systems. .

As reported earlier this week, Drive understands that Toyota Australia executives have been debating what to call the technology, in an effort not to undo the reputation it has built over two decades with its petrol-electric hybrid range.

In the original press release, Toyota Australia referred to the HiLux mild hybrid as “48-volt technology”, along with the ute’s 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine.

While most of Toyota’s gasoline hybrid cars can reduce fuel consumption by up to 50 percent compared to their non-hybrid counterparts, the mild hybrid system is only expected to reduce fuel use by 10 percent. .

Hybrid cars also have the ability to be driven at low speeds in pure electric mode, while mild hybrids simply provide electrical assistance during acceleration, similar to a strong artificial tailwind.

However, it appears Toyota’s other global offices don’t necessarily share the same fears as Australian executives, with a HiLux concept car with large ‘HYBRID’ decals on the sides making its debut at a round of the World Rally Championship in Kenya this week.

In Australia, it appears that ‘Toyota Kinetic Assist’ may be the term used to describe the mild-hybrid system, with the word ‘kinetic’ relating to power and movement.

Keen readers may recall Toyota’s “Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System,” which is unrelated to hybrid electric components and instead refers to the company’s revolutionary anti-roll bar decoupling technology, introduced as part of the suspension on the LandCruiser 200 Series over a decade ago. back.

The Japanese car brand has yet to officially use ‘Toyota Kinetic Assist’, but it seems the name could be used to reference the 48-volt mild-hybrid system in the electrified HiLux due to hit local showrooms in early 2024.

Ben Zacharias

Ben Zachariah is a seasoned writer and automotive journalist from Melbourne who has worked in the automotive industry for over 15 years. Ben was previously an interstate truck driver and completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021. He is considered an expert in the area of ​​classic car investing.

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