MOTORING NEWS - Toyota Australia has stepped up the roll-out of hybrid models with confirmation that its advanced fuel-efficient technology will be available in the next-generation Corolla sedan.
The sleek new four-door hybrid sedan, unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show in December, will adopt the latest petrol-electric system from the fourth-generation Prius when it is introduced in Australia later in the year.
Sharing many of the features and technology of the popular Corolla hatch (due in South Africa early this year), the Corolla sedan will also be available with an all-new 2,0-litre petrol engine that incorporates both direct and port fuel injection.
Handling agility and ride comfort for the hybrid and petrol Corolla sedans benefit from a highly rigid new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, low centre of gravity and new multi-link rear suspension.
Hybrid variants of the Corolla sedan will be powered by the combination of a 1,8-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine and two motor /generators through an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission.
The engine has been designed specifically for a hybrid application, employing the Atkinson cycle that uses a very high compression ratio (13,0:1) along with a shorter intake stroke and longer expansion stroke than the Otto cycle.
A nickel-metal hydride battery pack, located under the rear seat for optimum cargo capacity, contributes to the vehicle's low centre of gravity and therefore its on-road agility. The hybrid Corolla sedan also has an EV (electric vehicle) mode that allows it to be operated solely on electric power for short distances, depending upon certain conditions such as battery charge level.
In addition to the expected Normal and Eco drive modes, a sport mode allows for an increase in power for stronger acceleration response when desired.
Advanced Toyota Safety Sense technology will also be available on the new Corolla and include Toyota's latest pre-collision system, active cruise control, lane-tracing assist, automatic high beam, seven airbags and a reverse camera.
Toyota remains committed to Hybrid technology, with a plan to offer Hybrid derivatives across the majority of its model ranges. The latest generation Hybrid models benefit from higher-efficiency petrol engines, improved EV-mode operation and revised CVT-transmission performance.
Model line-up and specification detail for South Africa is still under consideration.
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