By Khulekani Dumisa
Toyota SA has introduce Hybrid variants of two of its most popular passenger cars, the Corolla and RAV4. Both Corolla and RAV4 Hybrid are a first for South Africa, and combine all the virtues of their conventional namesakes with the added performance and fuel efficiency of Toyota’s proven Hybrid system.
Based on the stylish 11th-generation Corolla sedan, the Corolla Hybrid features Toyota’s latest generation 2ZR-FXE engine (shared with the Prius). This 1.8-litre, four-cylinder mill employs Atkinson-cycle technology to deliver outstanding thermal efficiency, helping to deliver low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Toyota says, the electric motors themselves are smaller, but also have an improved power-to-weight ratio. The electric motor provides a supplementary 53kW and 163Nm (at full capacity) – to boost overall system output to 90 kW (the combined figure is not an aggregate of the two power sources, due to transmission reduction losses).
The Hybrid powertrain also employs a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) gearbox – which seamlessly integrates the two drive sources, feeding power to the front wheels. Toyota’s latest generation hybrid models utilise a ‘starting reduction gear’ to improve acceleration from standstill and provide a more direct-drive feeling when taking off. Drivers thus get the comfort and convenience of a ‘two-pedal’ arrangement while not sacrificing on driveability, performance or fuel economy.
The Corolla Hybrid offers buyers outstanding fuel efficiency, with an impressively low average fuel consumption figure of 3.5 l/100 km. CO2 emissions are equally low, registering 81 g/km. Combined with a 43-litre fuel tank, the Corolla Hybrid has a theoretical range of over 1,200 km on a single tank.
One Grade, One Spec
The Corolla Hybrid is offered in the Xs spec level. This mid-tier grade with all the key comfort and convenience features. Standard specification includes LED head and taillamps with Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and automatic control, keyless entry, power-adjustable and heated side mirrors and full colour coding. Other cabin niceties include cruise control, climate control, a reverse camera, power windows all-round, multi-Information display (MID) and three-spoke leather steering wheel with steering switches.
The audio system comprises a touchscreen audio with bluetooth, USB and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality, playing through six speakers.
The Corolla Hybrid rides on bespoke 15-inch alloy wheels, shod with energy-saving 195-65-R15 tyres which boast a low coefficient of friction. Customers can choose from seven exterior colours: Glacier White, Satin Silver, Dark Blue metallic, Moonlight Ocean metallic, Celestite Grey and Platinum White Pearl. The Interior is finished off in classic black.
Model Line-up & Pricing
The Corolla Xs CVT Hybrid is priced from R419,900. The price includes a six-service or 90,000 km service plan, Toyota’s standard 3-year/100,000 km warranty and an 8-year / 195 000 km Hybrid battery warranty.
Toyota says, the pricing has been set at a very competitive level in anticipation of future government support on New Energy Vehicles (NEV). Toyota South Africa Motors’ strategy is to make Hybrid models attainable and offer customers an attractive product package – leveraging the benefits of Hybrid technology – without paying significant premiums in order to experience it.
This is a commendable move by Toyota SA. We hope the SA government comes to the party, soon.
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