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Corolla Hybrid on Toyota hit list

Wanted: The Auris (Corolla) Hybrid is already on sale in Europe and Australia could be next.

Toyota keen to offer a petrol-electric Corolla among eight new hybrids for Oz

28 Jul 2010

TOYOTA Australia has confirmed that the Corolla Hybrid is on its wish list.

The Japanese giant has not disclosed if it will follow the course it has taken with the current Camry by launching the Hybrid Synergy Drive version late in the existing model’s lifecycle or choose to wait until the next-generation Corolla emerges before it applies the hybrid tech.

Toyota launched today’s mainstream petrol-powered Camry and Corolla shapes in 2006 and 2007 respectively, and both should be replaced in Australia sometime by the end of 2012.

The company has already disclosed that there will be an Australian-built version of the next-gen Camry Hybrid.

The petrol-electric Corolla is expected to be one of eight new hybrids Toyota is planning for introduction into Australia by 2014.

“We look at every model that is available to us from around the world,” says Toyota Australia’s senior executive of sales and marketing, Dave Buttner.

“And we said some time ago at the time of the Camry Hybrid launch that we would introduce eight hybrids over the next four years.

“There’s no reason why during a point in that time one of those couldn’t be a Corolla (hybrid).”

8 center imageLeft: Toyota Prius. Below: Toyota Camry Hybrid.

However, Mr Buttner would not be pressed on revealing any solid plans afoot for the car’s introduction into Australia or whether it would include the plug-in powertrain that is destined for the (related) Prius III in that time frame.

“If a vehicle is engineered for Europe, then its specification – even though it’s a different hand – is virtually compatible with Australian design rules,” he said.

“So really then, anything for Europe that we feel has a market in Australia – and providing the volume was there to warrant the expenditure if it’s purely left-hand drive to make it right-hand drive – then we would look at the car seriously.

“It’s one of the potential things on the menu.”

Toyota released the production version of the Corolla Hybrid as the hatchback-only Auris HSD (Auris is the European-market name for the 10th-generation Corolla hatchback) at this year’s Geneva motor show, some six months after its Frankfurt motor show preview last September.

It employs a 73kW/142Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine, 60kW/207Nm electric motor, and nickel metal hydride batteries, for a total system output of 100kW.

Driving the front wheels through a CVT transmission, the Euro-spec Auris HSD can hit the 0-100km/h mark in 10 seconds, emit just 89g/km of CO2 emissions, and return 3.8L/100km in the Euro combined-cycle fuel economy. Plus it can offer fully electric motivation for up to 2km (at speeds of up to 50km/h).

Built in both left and right-and drive configurations in Burnaston, England, the Auris HSD has just been launched in major Toyota markets in Europe.

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