Hotter Corolla could go hybrid

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Words: Nile Bijoux
10 Aug 2018

The Corolla hasn’t exactly been significant competition for the likes of VW's Golf GTI but that could be about to change.

Yasushi Ueda, Corolla’s chief engineer, has told overseas media that the idea of a hot hybrid sounds “very good.” He didn’t commit to anything, instead talking about everything as if it’s on a whiteboard somewhere back in Toyota HQ. That’s pretty standard fare for unannounced products but nonetheless things are looking good for those hankering for a fast Corolla.

The potential hot hatch would employ all-wheel-drive with the electric part of the powertrain sitting on the rear axle, like the RAV4 Hybrid. Your guess is as good as ours for potential output numbers.

Meanwhile, the latest Corolla hatch will launch here in September. It will feature two powertrain options, the petrol engine getting 21 per cent more power and 15 per cent more torque, suggesting around 125kW and 200Nm, respectively. Overall fuel economy has improved slightly to 6.0 litres per 100kms.

The hybrid version will use the system from the latest Prius, good for a total output of 90kW and a combined fuel consumption of 4.2l/100km.

Underpinning all new models is the new TNGA platform, featuring a lower centre of gravity, trailing wishbone independent rear suspension and a more rigid body shell.

“This new 12th generation Corolla shares the same dynamic platform as the C-HR with technology inspiration from the class-leading Prius and a strong European design influence,” said Toyota New Zealand’s product guru, Neeraj Lala.

“This car is more than just an evolution of the Corolla we know, and with more power and a specially developed transmission for the petrol variants, it is the most fun to drive Corolla in the past two decades.”

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NZ Autocar

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