Frsh off the simultaneous launches (in China and the USA) of the sedan version of the all-new Toyota Corolla, the company has now introduced a hybrid variant of the Corolla at the ongoing 2018 Los Angeles International Motor Show.
Built on the bones of Toyota’s much-lauded TNGA platform, the Corolla Hybrid adapts the same Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain from the fourth-generation Prius without any compromise in space and overall packaging.
The hybrid system combines the 2ZR-FXE 1.8-liter Atkinson Cycle inline four cylinder petrol with two motor/generators through a planetary CVT-type automatic. Both motors – MG1 and MG2 – are used for hybrid battery charging, further improving efficiency. Peak combined power is rated at 121 hp.
The nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack employs a newly developed technology called Hyper-‘Prime Nickel’ to boost battery performance in a smaller and lighter package. The battery’s small size and flat shape allow it to be packaged under the rear seat, rather than under the boot floor, which still allows for a 60/40 split folding rear seatback. The battery location also contributes to the vehicle’s lower center of gravity.
The CVT transmission has a ‘preload differential’ to deliver a linear acceleration feel, during initial take-off – the battery provides a subtle power boost to eliminate the commonplace ‘rubber band’ feel of CVT transmission. And during low loads and low differential rotation, differential-limited torque is distributed to the left and right wheels for added handling stability.
In addition to the typical drive modes of Eco, Normal, and Sport, the Corolla Hybrid has a EV mode which allows the car to travel in full-electric mode for short distances.
The Corolla Hybrid comes fitted 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels with low-rolling resistance tires, as opposed 18-inch wheels fitted to the US specific model, petrol powered models.
But do note, one crucial difference between the Corolla models and the rest of the TNGA platform model range is the fitment of multi-link versus the double-wishbone rear suspension setup, as seen on the Prius and Camry models.
The instrument panel uses a 7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID). The MID shows the speedometer, as well as a hybrid system indicator/real-time battery charge status indicator.
Infotainment wise – the Corolla Hybrid is fitted as standard Toyota’s Entune 3.0 audio system that includes an 8-inch touchscreen display, a six speakers setup, and Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
Safety kit comprises of eight airbags, VSC, ABS with EBD, Traction Control, Brake Assist, Smart Stop Technology, and reverse camera. It also includes the full suite of Toyota’s second generation Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) active safety systems that include PCS (Pre-Collision System), LDA (Lane Departure Alert) with Steering Assist, Lane Keep Assist, full-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Automatic High Beam, and Road Sign Assist.
The all-new Toyota Hybrid is scheduled to go on sale in the USA in Q3 of 2019.