It seems that Toyota has been invigorated by the idea of high performance in their past couple launches. They've revived the AE86 in the form of the 86, Gazoo Racing has made the fasted factory Yaris ever, and of course, they're reviving the Supra. So what's next for Toyota?
If Toyota’s European president and CEO Dr Johan van Zyl's hints are to go by, we'll be seeing a hot Corolla in the future. Toyota has big plans for the Gazoo GRMN brand, it seems, and for the Corolla, Van Zyl has hybrid power in mind to eke out more punch.
Van Zyl notes that the concept of a hybrid hot hatch is feasible, stating that the technology is there. He adds that making a hot hybrid hatch is all a matter of tuning both the engine and the batteries to give as much performance as it can.
At the moment, the Corolla's hybrid is a 2.0-liter unit paired to a 216-volt battery. Output from the gas engine is rated at 180 PS while the electric motors put out 109 PS. Now, total power output isn't just adding the two figures together. That means we might be looking at about 260 to 280 horsepower, should Toyota push through with their plans.
Toyota is part of a growing number of manufacturers taking the hybrid route to boost performance while maintaining economy. Aside from the Corolla, Toyota recently unveiled the RAV4 Hybrid, packing 222 PS. Peugeot on the other hand revealed a range of turbocharged plug-in hybrids than can make up to 300 PS, while Volkswagen Group has the Skoda Vision RS, which is more of a match to the Corolla.