Last week, AutoIndustriya received information that Toyota was supposedly planning to make hybrid versions of the Vios and Avanza models.
Apparently called e-Smart Hybrid, we initially thought the system will work like a mild hybrid system wherein a vehicle will get an additional power boost while producing fewer emissions. Fast forward to today and it actually works differently from how we thought.
This is the 2022 Toyota Raize e-Smart Hybrid, and it works like Nissan's e-Power Hybrid. While it does have a 1.2-liter naturally-aspirated three-cylinder under the hood, it's not actually connected to the drivetrain. Instead, the engine acts as a generator that charges the crossover's lithium-ion battery pack located under the seats – giving the Raize e-Smart Hybrid a similar feel to an electric vehicle (EV).
An electric motor with 106 PS and 170 Nm of torque drives the front wheels which eliminates the need for a gearbox. As a result, Toyota claims it delivers instantaneous torque from a standstill. To give drivers an easier time driving the e-Smart Hybrid, it comes with the Smart Pedal (S-PDL) system that allows one-pedal operation. It works similarly to Nissan's e-Pedal technology wherein releasing the accelerator pedal will slow down the vehicle.
With the Raize's compact dimensions, fuel-efficient 1.2-liter engine, and electric motor system, Toyota claims the hybrid crossover can easily average 28km/L on the WLTP cycle.
To help differentiate this particular Raize from its non-hybrid counterparts, the crossover gets an exclusive honeycomb front grille, as well as the signature Hybrid Synergy Drive badge. Buyers can also get an optional external power supply function that can be used to charge electronic devices or appliances in case of blackouts.
For car buyers that want the benefit of a hybrid but are afraid of EV range anxiety, the Raize e-Smart Hybrid bridges the gap between a fully-electric vehicle and a traditional hybrid. Hopefully, Toyota does bring this type of technology to models like the Vios and Avanza as it could help broaden the appeal of hybrids to the masses.
If given the chance to own a Raize e-Smart Hybrid, would you get one? Let us know in the comments.