Toyota’s Corolla hybrid is projected to get 50 mpg
Toyota has revealed a new hybrid model of its 2020 Corolla that achieves at least 50 mpg combined fuel economy (projected). That makes the 2020 Corolla Hybrid the most fuel-efficient model to ever wear the model name that debuted more than a half-century ago.
The hybrid adapts the latest Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive from the new-generation Prius, already proven as an MPG winner.
The 2020 Corolla Hybrid, like its gas-powered siblings, delivers a highly-satisfying driving experience, along with the brand’s latest advances in comfort and multimedia technology. As on the 2020 Corolla gas models, the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of active safety systems comes standard.
The hybrid powertrain and battery were a natural fit for the new Corolla because of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. The new hybrid system combines a 1.8-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine with two motor/generators through an electronically controlled planetary-type continuously variable transmission (CVT) transaxle.
Combined system output of 121 horsepower yields decidedly responsive performance.
The nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack employs a newly developed technology called Hyper-Prime Nickel to boost battery performance in a smaller and lighter package.
The battery’s smaller size and flatter shape allow it to be packaged under the rear seat, rather than taking up trunk space, and also allowing a 60/40 split folding rear seatback to expand cargo capacity. The battery location also contributes to the vehicle’s lower centre of gravity, a boon to agility.
The engine, working in concert with the electric motor (MG2), assures responsive performance, while exemplary energy efficiency is achieved by using both electric motors (MG1 and MG2) for hybrid battery charging.
The Corolla Hybrid’s linear acceleration response may take some by surprise. When pulling away, the battery provides a subtle power boost in order to put less strain on the engine and eliminate the “rubber band” effect experienced with some hybrids.
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, yielding excellent handling stability. At mid-range and high engine loads, the preload differential functions as an open differential.
Corolla Hybrid has EV mode, which allows the vehicle to be operated as a pure electric vehicle for short distances, depending upon certain conditions, such as battery charge level. This mode is useful for operating the vehicle in parking lots or indoor parking garages, for example. The Vehicle Proximity Notification feature alerts pedestrians of the vehicle’s presence when running in battery mode.