A few days ago Toyota teased a first image of a back corner of the 2020 Corolla Hybrid, just to make sure enthusiasm peaked for the big unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show. That reveal is taking place today, and we now have full details on the first Corolla hybrid to be offered on the North American market, as well as a photo gallery.
In terms of design, the Corolla Hybrid is following the lead of the Corolla sedan version we’ve already seen, which represents a substantial makeover in comparison with the outgoing model. See our photo gallery of the 2020 Corolla sedan here.
The new hybrid model delivers combined fuel consumption under 5.0L/100 km, making it the most fuel-efficient Corolla ever produced. The car features the latest-generation Hybrid Synergy Drive system, borrowed from the latest edition of the Prius.
Built on the automaker’s new TNGA platform, the Corolla Hybrid offers the same amount of space and the same level of comfort as the combustion-engine Corolla, according to Toyota.
The new hybrid system found within includes a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine working with two electric motors and an electronically controlled CVT transmission. Total output for this powertrain is 121 hp.
The next-generation battery pack is flatter, more compact and lighter, and sits under the rear bench, leaving the trunk intact. The placement of the battery also gives the car a lower centre of gravity for improved handling.
On the road, a preload differential adds to the confident acceleration feel. During low loads and low differential rotation, differential-limited torque is distributed to the left and right wheels for improved stability. At mid-range and high engine loads, the preload differential functions as an open differential.
EV mode allows the vehicle to be operated as a pure electric vehicle for short distances, depending upon certain conditions, such as battery charge level. When it’s in use, the Vehicle Proximity Notification feature alerts pedestrians of the vehicle’s presence. The other drive modes are NORMAL, ECO and SPORT.
The 2020 Corolla Hybrid comes with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 package of safety systems as standard equipment.
The Electronically Controlled Brake (ECB) system allows for recovering braking energy and sending it to recharge the battery. An active hydraulic booster on the conventional (non-regenerative) braking system improves pedal feel and feedback for the driver. Should the ECB system fail, this system will automatically kick in.
The 2ZR-FXE 1.8L inline 4-cylinder engine was designed specifically for a hybrid application. The long-stroke configuration employs the Atkinson cycle, which uses a very high compression ratio (13.0:1) along with a shorter intake stroke and longer expansion stroke than the Otto cycle.
Exclusively on the Hybrid model
The Corolla Hybrid gets 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels with low-rolling resistance tires. The new multi-link rear suspension improves both handling agility and ride comfort compared to the outgoing Corolla Sedan.
The instrument panel includes a 7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID), which shows the speedometer as well as a hybrid system indicator/real-time battery charge status indicator. ECO accelerator guidance, also shown in the MID, can provide a guideline for maximizing fuel efficiency by “coaching” the driver.
The 2020 Corolla Hybrid will be available in Canada in the Spring of 2019.