Foton PH set to join SUV wars with new Toplander
THE TOPLANDER will be assembled at the new Foton plant in Clark
THERE’S a new SUV coming to town, and it’s not bearing the logo of traditional SUV makers that most people are familiar with. It’s called Toplander and it’s built by Foton. The first few units of this new full-size SUV player out to challenge the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Montero, Ford Everest, Isuzu mu-X and Chevrolet Trailblazer are now plying the streets of Colombia and China. Chances are the Toplander will be hitting the local roads by September. It will be assembled at the new Foton plant in Clark. It goes without saying that the Foton’s entry into the intensifying SUV wars would carry the same powertrain and chassis as its pickup model Thunder.
That means it would be powered by a Cummins ISF 2.8-liter turbodiesel with common-rail system, good for 161 hp / 360 Nm. The engine uses Bosch direct fuel injection. The rear gear train, block and cylinder head are cast iron. The engine uses a chain-driven camshaft. A turbocharger with wastegate valve, exhaust gas recirculation and oxidation catalyst helps it to attain Euro IV emissions standards. The modular engine architecture reportedly allows easy access and service. The engine has a quoted lifespan of 500,000 km.
The Toplander measures 4830 mm long x 1910 mm wide and 1840 mm high. It will come in 4×4 and 4×2 versions.
The Toplander was first seen at the 2014 Guangzhou auto show, eliciting attention with its stylish body-on-frame. It carried the name Foton Sauvana, from the old U201, for the Chinese market. The three markets (Colombia, the Philippines and another in the Middle East) where it is due to be released this year all agreed to use the Toplander instead. The first variant to be made available when the Toplander is launched in the Philippines is a 4×2 manual, reportedly to be offered at under a million pesos.