Toyota South Africa Motors has confirmed it plans to add the Hilux's 2,8-litre turbodiesel engine to the Land Cruiser Prado range later in 2020.

The Japanese firm’s local arm told CARmag.co.za the “engine change is still on the cards for Prado”, adding the local launch is scheduled for the final quarter of the year.

While the brand said it would “confirm line-up details” closer to the model’s update, we know the Prado will gain the refreshed Hilux’s uprated 2,8 GD-6 powerplant, likely tuned to deliver 150 kW (at 3 400 r/min) and 500 N.m (from 1 600 to 2 800 r/min). Braked towing capacity is expected to be 3 000 kg.

The familiar engine has gained a new ball-bearing turbocharger with a larger turbine and impeller, along with improved engine rigidity and cooling. According to Toyota, it boasts better fuel economy than before thanks to “optimised” pistons and piston rings, along with changes to the cylinder block and head, a higher fuel-injection flow rate and the adoption of “high-performance” materials for the exhaust manifold.

We’d speculate the 2,8-litre oil-burner will replace the 3,0-litre unit (worth 120 kW and 400 N.m) that currently powers three of the five variants in the local Prado line-up. The current range, which was last updated locally in November 2017, also includes Toyota’s naturally aspirated 4,0-litre V6 petrol engine.

This latest powertrain update has already been rolled out in markets such as Japan and Australia, where the Prado also gains a new 9,0-inch touchscreen system (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality) and various other equipment upgrades.