Have you been seeing more and more hybrid cars in the Indian market these days? Well, the cost of petrol and diesel continues to be on an upward trajectory and although EVs are amassing more and more new car buyers with every passing year, the transition from ICE to electric has a long way to go before the latter truly becomes mainstream.
What we are left with, then, is hybrid technology which seems to have picked up strongly in the last few years. Here, we have come up with a list of hybrid SUVs for 2024 that will join the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara hybrid, Honda City eHEV, and the Toyota Innova Hycross hybrid.
Toyota Fortuner Hybrid
Toyota showcased a hybrid version of the Fortuner at the 2023 Indonesia International Auto Show. It’s a hybrid car but not the kind of hybrid that you would expect. In fact, the Fortuner that you see here is capable of running on bioethanol. Currently, it is in the prototype stage, though we expect it to go into production in the near future. It is powered by a 2.7-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine that the standard model gets. Here, it makes 163bhp and 243Nm of torque, which is marginally less than the standard model.
The setup is paired with an automatic gearbox, which sends power to the rear wheels only. For this upcoming hybrid car, Toyota has heavily revised it to run on 100 per cent bioethanol. The changes include revisions to the fuel system, given that ethanol as a fuel is harsher than petrol. Toyota India has showcased its flex-fuel vehicles in the past and if the Fortuner Flex Fuel goes into production, it will make its way to the Indian market as well.
2024 Renault Duster
The third generation of the Renault Duster has been shown for the global markets. For India, this entirely new model will lead Renault India’s premium SUV range and will also spawn an equivalent model from Nissan. The Duster is expected to come with a total of three engine options including one with hybrid tech. Globally, there is a 1.6-litre petrol version featuring an automatic gearbox and two electric motors.
This is a full hybrid system, similar to the Honda eHEV system or what both Maruti Suzuki and Toyota offer on the Grand Vitara and the Urban Cruiser, respectively. This engine is already offered in the Jogger MPV where it produces 140bhp/148Nm and has a mileage of 24.5kmpl. The second option is a mild-hybrid 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine mated to a 48V electric motor with an output in the range of 110bhp-160bhp. India is expected to be a production and export hub for the Duster and its Nissan counterpart. The alliance will manufacture the car for both RHD and LHD markets in the sub-continent.
Back in 2022, Nissan India showcased three upcoming products for the Indian market. The first of these products will be the X-Trail which seems to have been delayed, considering that it was expected to go on sale this year. Nonetheless, the X-Trail hybrid combines an electric motor and a three-cylinder petrol engine, producing a total output of 210bhp and 525Nm of torque. According to Nissan, the e-Power technology includes a battery that is integrated with the petrol engine. Unlike most mainstream hybrid cars that are driven by the ICE motor and the electric motor, the e-Power system uses the battery’s output to run the car, and the ICE motor is used exclusively to charge the battery.
The X-Trail is expected to have lower NVH levels as the car runs on battery power instead of petrol. Another highlight would be the higher fuel economy while commuting, as the e-Power tech drives the engine at its most fuel-efficient point. The X-Trail hybrid SUV is expected to be launched as a CKD vehicle with prices ranging between Rs. 26-32 lakh (ex-showroom).