Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation is getting ready to upgrade the 2.5L D-4D engine in the Fortuner and Hilux line up.

Starting next month, the Fortuner SUV and the Hilux pick-up will be getting an upgraded version of the 2KD-FTV engine (the engine found in the 2005-2012 models of the IMV line). The 2.5 liter D-4D diesel engine has had its old turbo replaced in favor of a variable nozzle (VN) turbine. Toyota has also installed a top-mount intercooler (TMIC) on the upgraded engine, hence the hood scoop.

The results of the upgrade speak for themselves. The new 2KD-FTV (I/C) engine produces 144 PS @ 3400 rpm with 343 Newton-meters @ 1600-2800 rpm.

To put that in perspective, the old 2KD-FTV engine delivered 102 PS @ 3600 rpm with 260 Newton-meters of torque. The larger 3.0-liter 1KD-FTV engine in the Hilux G and Fortuner V variants produced 163 PS and 343 Nm of torque.

By upgrading the forced-induction system on the Fortuner/Hilux, Toyota has given the engine a 41% increase in power as well as a 32% increase in torque. In fact, the torque of the new 2.5 liter VN Turbo Intercooler motor matches the larger 3.0 liter engine.

The upgrade is welcome news, as we've always found the current 2.5G engine in the Fortuner to be overworked when it comes to handling the vehicle's weight. The 2.5L in the current Hilux also felt similar, especially when loaded.

4x4 2.5L possible

Based on the Toyota Thailand website (the 2.5L VN Turbo engine is already on sale there), the 2KD-FTV is offered in both 4x2 and 4x4 variants for the new 2.5L VN Turbo Hilux. As for the SUV, the new engine is only offered as a 4x2 2.5L VN Turbo Fortuner in Thailand.

The new engine in the Thai market is only offered with the 5-speed manual. There's a possibility that it will arrive with a 4-speed auto for the Philippines, but there are no complete details yet.

Target: Montero Sport

With the new engine, Toyota is targeting the strong sales of the Mitsubishi Montero Sport. Mitsubishi launched the MS with their own 2.5L VN Turbo Intercooler diesel. Even with the new engine in the Fortuner, the 2KD-FTV is still a bit behind MMPC's 2.5L D-iD VGT, as the Montero delivers 178 PS and 350 Nm.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how the new 2KD-FTV with the VN Turbo Intercooler system will deliver in terms of performance and fuel economy.