The best Toyota LandCruiser Prado powertrain looks to be firming for our market, with Toyota in Australia yet to close the door on the punchy hybrid powertrain being offered in the USA.
In fact, the brand says it is "studying it in the USA right now", and points out that a hybrid powertrain in the Prado would fit neatly into its "multi-pathway" strategy for reducing emissions.
And that is very good news for those waiting for the new Prado, which is expected to lob in Australia in the second half of 2024, because by almost any metric, the hybrid option is the superior powertrain choice.
We know already that the Prado will be offered in Australia with a 48-volt-assisted 2.8-litre turbo-diesel, which essentially carries over from the current Prado and HiLux, which means it will still produce 150kW and 500Nm, with power sent to all four wheels via a new Direct Shift eight-speed automatic.
But US-spec Prados are fitted with a 2.4-litre turbo-petrol assisted by a 36kW electric motor integrated into an eight-speed transmission, producing a total 243kW and 630Nm.
But remember we said "almost any metric"? In the US, the hybrid allows for 2.7-tonne braked towing – less than the expected 3.0 to 3.5-tonne braked of the diesel-powered Prado. But for anyone not planning on towing something big, the hybrid has plenty of perks.
"Nothing to announce today, but (it's) certainly one that we're examining in the US right now. We won't rule it out because it's part of our multi-pathway strategy," says Toyota Australia's sales and marketing boss, Sean Hanley.
"It makes good sense to do that. We haven't confirmed that vehicle but it is certainly a vehicle of interest."
The Toyota executive went on to say that the Prado's popularity in our market would boost its chances.
Prado's sufficient enough volume in this market that we could do at OEM, I think, if in fact we were to get it," he said.
"We are examining the possibilities, of course."
With the clock counting down to the Prado's local launch next year, cross your fingers that a second powertrain joins the party.