Australia’s best-selling car will soon be available with a hybrid powerplant as the new Toyota Corolla Hybrid, but only in the hatch body at this stage.
As with Toyota’s existing hybrid models, power will come from a four-cylinder naturally-aspirated petrol engine coupled with a 60kW electric motor to drive the front wheels.
That engine is 1.8 litres in capacity, and produces 73kW of power with 142Nm of torque. Combined power output from the two sources is 100kW.
Toyota reminds us that this power output is very close to the 103kW on offer in the regular Corolla range, which is powered by a 1.8 litre petrol engine only.
The current best fuel economy based on official figures for the Toyota Corolla range is achieved in the entry-level Ascent with ‘seven-speed’ CVT automatic at 6.1 l/100km.
Toyota says the hybrid model will cut this by around one third to achieve “Prius-like” economy, meaning buyers can expect a figure of around 4.1 l/100km.
This figure is still to be confirmed, but Toyota has revealed that the Corolla Hybrid will be available as a “well-specified single grade”.
Features will include satellite navigation, Toyota Link connectivity, dual-zone climate control and bi-LED headlamps.
Like the Prius, the Corolla Hybrid will be able to cover up to two kilometres on battery power alone, at speeds of up to 45km/h.
“The combination of Toyota’s hybrid technology and Australia’s best-selling car gives us a unique opportunity to broaden the market appeal of both,” Toyota Australia’s Tony Cramb said. “This addition to the Corolla range will be fun to drive – and fun to own with fuel economy and emissions that are superior to its direct competitors, especially diesel.”
Mr Cramb said Europe’s version of the Corolla Hybrid hatch, the Auris Hybrid, accounts for more than 50 percent of sales.