Toyota’s 12th generation of its long-serving Corolla model will feature its fifth generation of full self-charging hybrid powertrain.
The model, first brought to market in 1966, ranks as among the most successful in automotive history so the 2023 model just unveiled online has a tough act to follow in a rapidly changing market being overtaken by electrified powertrains. As with the current model, 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter hybrid systems will be available, although both feature significant changes to engines and electric motors aiming to enhance the driving experience with extra power, improved performance and drivability with, depending on the powertrain, unchanged or lower CO2 emissions. The power control unit (PCU) and transaxle motor have been redesigned and the lithium-ion battery is more powerful, yet smaller and lighter with mass reduced by up to 18kg (39.6lbs).
Total power from the 1.8-liter system is a claimed 138bhp, bringing a 1.7-second reduction in the 0-62mph time to 9.2 seconds. Despite this performance increase, CO2 emissions are expected to be unchanged at 102g/km. For the 2.0-liter system, total output has risen to 193bhp and almost half a second has been shaved from the 0-62mph time, taking it down to 7.5 seconds. A reduction of 3g/km in the combined cycle CO2 figure is expected, to 107g/km.
Toyota claims it has achieved system acceleration that feels natural and more rewarding to drivers. Previously, the focus was on linear acceleration; now, recalibration of the hybrid control has produced acceleration that more closely mirrors the driver’s intention and their use of the throttle pedal, producing the appropriate G-sensation and an intuitive feel. This has been achieved with a reduction in engine speed during acceleration. Powertrain noise under acceleration has also been quietened.
— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_