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Toyota takes Corolla Hybrid

Electric avenue: The Corolla Hybrid could compete with fuel-sipping diesels such as the VW Golf 110TDI and Hyundai CRDi i30.

Petrol-electric Corolla Hybrid headed to Toyota dealerships mid-year


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1 Feb 2016

TOYOTA has announced that it will add a petrol-electric hybrid version of the Corolla hatch to its Australian line-up in the middle of the year.

The green machine will bring Toyota's hybrid count to five models in Australia and follows the Prius that arrives in its fourth-generation in March, as well as the Prius C and V and the Australian-built Camry Hybrid.

The Japanese car-maker says the Corolla Hybrid will consume “around one-third less fuel” than the standard petrol-powered Corolla hatch when combined with an automatic transmission, and while Toyota has not provided the official combined fuel figure, it should average about 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres.

Pricing and specification is yet to be announced, but Toyota Australia said that the hybrid hatch will be offered in one “well-specified” single grade, indicating that it could carry a price premium over other versions of the car.

Some of the standard features include dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, bi-LED headlights Toyota Link connectivity and satellite navigation.

Powering the Corolla Hybrid hatch is a 1.8-litre four-cylinder VVT-i engine producing 73kW and 142Nm matched with a 650V 60kW electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride battery for a total system output of 100kW.

It will also feature an electric-vehicle mode that means the Corolla can be driven for up to two kilometres at speeds up to 45km/h in electric only mode, depending on the battery charge.

The low fuel use will ensure the Corolla Hybrid competes with a number of small capacity diesel and petrol rivals including the Volkswagen Golf 110TDI that sips 4.6L/100km and the Hyundai i30 CRDi that consumes between 4.6-4.9L/100km depending on the spec.

It is unlikely, however, that the Corolla Hybrid will better the 3.9L/100km fuel figure of the Prius.

Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the Corolla Hybrid has already proven to be successful in other markets and added that it will be a unique offering Down Under.

“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,” he said.

“Corolla hybrid hatch will offer all the advantages of Australia's favourite car, coupled with the hybrid system's established performance, reliability, durability and exceptionally low running costs.

“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.

“There is enormous potential for the hybrid Corolla as shown by its success in western Europe where hybrid versions account for more than 50 per cent of all Auris (Corolla hatch) sales. In fact, it attracts more sales than any other hybrid in that market.”

The Corolla was Australia's top-selling car last year for the third year running with 42,073 units shifted, about 3500 units ahead of the second-placed Mazda3.

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