New Toyota Fortuner to conquer market

HARARE - Toyota has launched the all-new Fortuner after 10 years of market domination by the first-generation model.

With its more confident and striking looks and enhanced engine efficiency, the new Fortuner has all it takes to conquer the local market.

Toyota South Africa Motors vice president Calvyn Hamman said the latest model has a long, wider stance versus the outgoing model, and its capabilities to adapt into every environment like a chameleon have been reinforced.

“It can transform seamlessly from a sophisticated urban warrior to a fierce bush conqueror,” he said.

The new Fortuner has a high-strength frame, rigid body, all-coil suspension and chassis calibration, which are quite suitable for the majority of our potholed and bumpy roads. The result is optimum durability, confident handling and excellent ride comfort coupled with low levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

The highly rigid chassis frame and body provide a stable platform for the Fortuner's new suspension, contributing significantly to optimum steering response. The new Fortuner has a double-wishbone front suspension and four-link coil-spring rear suspension, both with stabiliser bars.

The car's suspension hardware includes reinforced suspension towers and large-diameter dampers for durability, stability and effective control of small vibrations. The large-diameter cylinders allow the dampers to generate high forces with a short stroke for minimal impact harshness.

A comprehensive anti-corrosion strategy includes extensive use of galvanised steel for most of the vehicle's exterior panels and cabin. Toyota also makes extensive use of undercoating and chip-resistant coatings.

A special underbody protection package was developed to withstand severe use, including an engine undercover for increased levels of protection. The undercover allows for cleaning after off-road use and was designed to minimise the collection of mud under the engine, while deflecting rocks and other potential harmful objects from critical parts.

Body noise-suppression design measures include insulation of the engine bay to reduce noise transmission to the cabin, including inner and outer dash silencers. Side door and glass seals reduce wind and road noise. Expansion foam is used throughout the body sections and seals to reduce noise.

Although the latest Fortuner may share some under-the-skin artillery with its tough-as-nails Hilux sibling, but in terms of design, they’re poles apart. In the current guise, the Fortuner sports a more distinctive, sleek yet striking and powerful design. The front end looks bold and impressive, and the overall look is handsome and muscular.

The Fortuner has been designed to stand out in urban settings as well as withstand tough outdoor conditions – it boasts sharp, sculpted exterior lines, slender headlamps and has underbody protection. The large upper grille is slanted and framed by thick chrome plating that extends around the headlamps. The strong design features a prominent three-dimensional trapezoidal front bumper, while deeply recessed fog lamps emphasise the vehicle's width.

A bold, characteristic line runs along the side, across the doors between the flared front and rear fenders which feature sculpted surfaces that maintains refinement in the midst of toughness. The Fortuner's rounded upper body is highlighted by a chrome-plated moulding that wraps around from the sides to the back glass.

The overall effect, with the Fortuner's black pillars and pronounced rear spoiler, is of a floating roof that gives the vehicle a dynamically striking stance even when it’s stationary.

Like most modern Toyota vehicles, the new Toyota Fortuner has been developed to attract the maximum safety standard. Both models are equipped with total of seven airbags comprising driver and passenger, side airbags for front seats only, driver knee and curtain shield airbags one per side and covers both front and rear side windows.

The familiar brake control systems; ABS, Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) form the first level of active safety.

The high-strength body creates a strong central safety cell. Pedestrian safety measures include impact-absorbing structures for the cowl, fender bracket, bonnet and front bumper.

Safety equipment in the new Fortuner includes emergency-locking retractor three-point seatbelts for all seats, with force-limiting seatbelt pretensioners for the front seatbelts. There are seatbelt reminders for front and second-row seats. There are three top-tether child-seat anchorages and an ISOFIX point for a child seat.

The vehicle, which was conceived in 1984 1984 as a midsize SUV called the Hilux Surf and was introduced and sold to selected markets, including Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Afghanistan, comes with a three year or 100 000 kilometre warranty.

Till next week, be safe on the roads!

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