TOYOTA’S 2019 Corolla goes on sale in August, with every model in the range having the option of hybrid power.

The move follows the success of the Camry hybrid, of which nearly half are hybrids.

In the Corolla, the Hybrid Synergy Drive system will use a 72kW/142Nm 1.8-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine with a pair of motor generators to provide electric-only drive to the wheels, combined petrol and electric drive and electricity generation to recharge the battery.

Toyota says the improved driveability and tractability of the upgraded Hybrid Synergy Drive complements the Corolla’s dynamic capability and styling while providing a balance between fuel economy, low emissions and performance.

Since the launch of the original Prius in 1997 – the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle – Toyota has continued to develop the drivetrain and the new Corolla hatch is lighter, more compact and more refined than its predecessor.

The Hybrid  system also features a new e-CVT transaxle, a new power control unit and new hybrid system battery.

The upgrades to the petrol engine have resulted in a 40 per cent thermal efficiency — a world best for a mass-produced petrol unit — that ensures it maintains similar outputs as the previous engine despite being smaller and more compact.

The main electric drive motor produces maximum outputs of 53kW/163Nm for a combined output of 90kW with a combined fuel consumption of 4.2L/100km and CO2 emissions of 97g/km.

In addition, various tweaks to the petrol engine have further improved combustion, cooling, friction and knock control that contribute to reduced noise and vibration and greater refinement.

There’s no word on price yet.

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Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.
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