Next-gen Toyota Fortuner takes shape

Spy pics of the new Toyota Fortuner SUV have been doing the rounds, clearly indicating that the next-gen model is now in its testing stages.

The Fortuner test mules are being spotted in Thailand, while the Toyota Innova has already been caught testing on Indian roads. Both Innova and Fortuner are based on the same Innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicle (IMV) platform. The next-gen Fortuner will be launched some months after the Innova, in 2016.

As seen from the spy photos, the entire silhouette of the Fortuner remains unchanged, but the front and rear will get new styling. The grille is expected to be more prominent thanks to two giant chromed slats, while the bumper comes across as more toned than bulbous. Like the current version, we expect generous amounts of chrome on the exteriors.

For the time being, though, to retain interest levels of potential SUV buyers, Toyota will be launching new variants of the current-generation Fortuner. The carmaker will add the option of a smaller 2.5-litre diesel motor, and an automatic variant to the top-end 3.0-litre 4WD version. These are expected to be launched around the festive season this year.