Fo­ton PH set to join SUV wars with new To­p­lan­der

THE TOP­LAN­DER will be as­sem­bled at the new Fo­ton plant in Clark


foton-toplander-0THERE’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.

Foton_Toplander_6That 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.

foton-toplanderThe 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.

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